Virtual March to Juneteenth – June 19, 2020
Today is Juneteenth! Friday, June 19th, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. On this day in 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston to announce to the people of Texas that the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 had freed all slaves.
Juneteenth became an official Texas state holiday in 1980 and its celebration has since spread across the country. On this day, people of all races and ethnicities are invited to come together to celebrate African American history and achievement, draw inspiration, and peacefully renew a shared quest for liberty and justice for all.
From June 3 to June 19th, we have featured San Antonians speaking out about the significance of the Woolworth Building, an endangered Civil Rights landmark on Alamo Plaza. Through this lens, we can see how far we have come as a community, voluntarily changing unjust policies in 1960 that barred African Americans from sitting down and being served at public lunch counters. However, we also see how far we have to go.
Our city’s rich Black history is not well represented in our public places and that needs to change, particularly by preserving the Woolworth Building across from the Alamo. You can help this cause and honor Black history by contacting the government officials listed on our Call to Action page.
Save the Woolworth Video 8 – June 19, 2020
Mrs.Deborah Omowale Jarmon, executive director of the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum (SAAACAM), recounts how her mother worked behind a Woolworth’s lunch counter, but couldn’t eat at one, and why San Antonio’s lunch counter history matters.
Many thanks to Deborah for her help in organizing this “video march” and to all the participants!