TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – Rain could not keep away thousands of people who gathered in the historic Greenwood District to celebrate Juneteenth.
An important holiday to everyone attending, and a holiday that this year means more than ever.
“The racial tension in our nation and in this city in particular, given our history, is at a boiling point,” Small business owner Anthony Archie told KFOR. “More than anything we have to come together and love one another. We have to build bridges and not walls, that’s why I’m out here.”
The celebration goes through Saturday and is less than a mile away from the BOK Center where President Trump is holding his rally that was originally scheduled for Friday.
“My hope is Tulsa will show why we are so great. The fact that we can have political discourse, and disagree agreeably,” Archie said. “I hope that all of the protests are peaceful on both sides.”
Even though the rally was moved to Saturday, long time civil-rights activist and keynote speaker Reverend Al Sharpton says the fact that it was originally scheduled for Juneteenth is unacceptable.
“The president said he didn’t know this was Juneteenth. He was born and raised in New York. Two-thirds of New York is black and Latino, but he never heard of Juneteenth,” Reverend Sharpton said. “So either he is lying, or he is exposing the ignorance he has about black history.”
While Juneteenth organizers expect to have 5,000 to 10,000 people attend the celebration, they want everyone to do so safely.
Volunteers were handing out masks, there are dozens of hand sanitizing stations, signs are up encouraging social distancing, and even the food trucks were spaced at least 6-feet apart.