Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton delivered a speech in Tulsa, Okla. on Friday to mark Juneteenth, an official holiday commemorating the abolition of slavery in the United States.
During his speech, he discussed the lingering effects of slavery and the racial injustices Black people often face.
“Give me the date that America was great for everybody. It wasn’t great for blacks were We were enslaved. And then had to fight Jim Crow, and then fight for the right to vote. It wasn’t great for white women who couldn’t even vote, and was reduced to you stay in the kitchen. It wasn’t great for those of Latino and Asian descent who are not welcome here. Even though you had a statue in the harbour, saying, bring me you’re tired and huddled masses that yearning to be free. When was America great for everybody?” said Sharpton in his address.
It is the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, which celebrates the sacrifices made by Black people to achieve freedom at the end of the Civil War.
Juneteeth marks an important official holiday in almost all 50 states and is what many call a “second Independence Day.”
2020’s holiday coincides with global protests against racial injustice as well as the coronavirus pandemic.