ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Juneteenth, the holiday that celebrates the end of slavery in America, was recognized on Saturday with a ceremony across the Twin Cities metro.
Ceremonies to mark the holiday were held in Minneapolis and St. Paul, along with several other metro cities -- aside from commemorations across the country.
In St. Paul's predominately Black Rondo neighborhood, the holiday was marked with a ceremony including St. Paul Mayor Carter and Governor Tim Walz.
"Juneteenth is a reflective time," said Governor Walz. "We need to learn our history. Those who want to tell us that there is one history and were going to be locked into that - No, no, no. History comes from many perspectives and needs to be told. But the reason we do that is not to admire the history or even condemn the history, it dang sure better be to learn from that history and decide what’s going to be different."
This week, President Biden signed the bill making Juneteenth a national holiday. But, while activists are glad to see the change, they are also hoping for more significant action.
"It’s great that it’s a holiday now, but at the same time the only reason it’s becoming a national holiday is because of George Floyd’s death," said Yahanna Mackbee. "Because a Black man died, so I feel like that’s kind of a little performative."
Mackbee was not alone in feeling that way. Many people we talked to had similar things to say, saying that it’s better late than never, but this is only the beginning of change that they want to see.