Savannah community reacts to Juneteenth being recognized as a federal holiday

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 12:08 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Now that Juneteenth is recognized as a federal holiday, those in the Hostess City say it’s a celebration of the past but also a call to action.

Juneteenth is a day that’s been celebrated by many Savannahians for years. But now it’s a day that’s being recognized on the national level.

“It is a beauty to actually get to see us as Black folks, African-Americans come together and just celebrate our history,” said Supreme Scott, a Savannah resident.

“I think recognizing freedom in all of its forms should be celebrated. It’s American history, and it’s unique to America,” said Lauri Lyons, coordinator of Rest with Honor.

Some say it’s a step forward.

“Moving forward allows us to know more about the history, for everyone to know about the history. This is history. This is world history. And it’s history we all must know,” said Lisa Jackson, Education Coordinator of Savannah African Art Museum.

Chad Mance, president of Savannah’s chapter of the NAACP says that while the passage of the bill is a reminder of the progress that’s been made, some say there’s still a lot more work to be done.

“Really, we’re headed in the direction of inclusiveness for more than just African-Americans but for really all marginalized groups. I think it’s a really strong step in the right direction,” said Mance.

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