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Hundreds gather to celebrate Juneteenth

Posted at 2:57 PM, Jun 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-19 20:34:08-04

Hundreds gathered in Logan Heights to celebrate Juneteenth, a newly designated federal holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

As he has for so many years, Mike Norris made his way to Logan Heights Saturday for Juneteenth.

“It signifies who we are in unity,” he said. "This is strong."

He was one of hundreds to converge on Community Memorial Park on Juneteenth, which commemorates June 19, 1865, the date that 250 thousand black people who were still enslaved in Texas became fully aware of their freedom.

This week, President Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

“I know dad's probably looking down smiling right now,” said Sidney Cooper, Jr., whose father, Sydney Cooper Sr., started a Juneteenth celebration in the area about 50 years ago, and it only grew.

Cooper takes special pride in a historical display under a banner that reads, “Our struggle, our history, our journey towards freedom.”

“All communities have obstacles and hurdles, and I think it's just part of our journey, but to see how far we've come really makes me very, very happy,” Cooper said.

The Pointer family came down from San Bernardino for Juneteenth, the significance of federal recognition not lost on mom, Christen.

“In our family we do celebrate every year,” she said. “But to know that the world knows now is pretty awesome.”