MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For the first time in the city’s history, Miami Beach formally commemorated Juneteenth with a ceremony at Pride Park on Friday morning.
It marked the 155th anniversary of the end of slavery in the US and included local leaders and Miami Beach residents, like Brenda Jordan.
“To see this stuff, it’s big,” Jordan told CBS4. “Living here 25 years, I haven’t seen much growth and inclusiveness in our community. So for me to see them make a step like this, is very important.”
Friday morning’s ceremony off Meridian Avenue included a moment of silence for approximately 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time former Minneapolis police officer Derrick Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck.
“Let’s continue to communicate, to show up, to vote, to listen, to learn, and to love,” said singer Nicole Henry before singing ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ for the crowd.
June 19th, 2020, marks 155 years since General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and freed the last enslaved people.
“We are all members of the human race, but that history is our history,” said Miami Shores Mayor Crystal Wager. “As a mother, I think about how only two to three generations ago, people would have been able to take my children from me without thought. Without thought, they would separate me from my children.”
At the end of the ceremony, people were invited to write on stones and place them around a newly planted tree in Pride Park. The rainbow eucalyptus tree was planted by city employees and is meant to symbolize unity.