Activists urge community to remember importance of Juneteeth while they celebrate

David Dennis speaks on importance of Juneteenth.
David Dennis speaks on importance of Juneteenth.(KSLA)
Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 4:24 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Friday, June 18, marks the start of a weekend full of activities. Right here in Shreveport, you can enjoy live music and good food at the Let the Good Times Roll Festival starting at 6 p.m.

A local activist says celebrating Juneteenth is great, but people should also remember the true meaning of the day and the importance it represents.

David Dennis played a huge part in paving the way for African Americans. He was an organizer with the Freedom Riders during the Civil Rights Movement.

After hearing about Juneteenth becoming a national holiday, he says this still is not enough.

”If you think about the very people who voted for or said ‘yes’ to make this a holiday, are the same people who voted for and acted to suppress the right to vote which is what this is supposed to stand by in terms of reform and our rights. So to me, something doesn’t gel here,” Dennis said.

He explained, “We should celebrate by being more reflective on the past and history in regards to what this really means.”

Back in 1961, Deloris Horton Marlow says she got arrested for refusing to go the Black waiting room to get a bus ticket. She says this holiday is personal for her.

”I’ve come such a long, long way and what I set out to do I accomplished it,” she said.

For Hersey Jones, he says it is a time to celebrate freedom of slaves and also a call for everyone to get to work.

”I think we should celebrate it by organizing, strategizing and implementing, because we have to make change to make life better,” Jones said.

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