CHICAGO - A community block party was held Monday to push back against violence in Chicago.
The Pullman Porter Museum hosted the Paint the Hood Orange Block Party that spreads from its campus to Corliss High School and Butler College Prep. About 300 people participated in the festivities, which included live music, a barbeque and games.
The event, however, was not only a celebration, but a resource fair with therapists on hand to talk with victims of gun violence.
"What’s needed is just love in our communities. They like to talk about violence but so many of us are on the ground doing the work," said Ariel Rainey of Hustle Mommies.
One of the organizers in Pullman said this was a much-needed event on Juneteenth.
"This is not just a celebration or a barbeque, this is an opportunity for us to recommit and commemorate and celebrate our history, heritage and culture," said David Peterson from the Pullman Porter Museum.
In Hyde Park, close to 200 people were at The Promontory for the Juneteenth Market, where they were supporting Black businesses. There were specialty candles, children’s books, and body sculpting.
The free event, now in its third year, included 30 vendors, food and of course cocktails.
"We wanted to be our ancestors vision. Everything they wanted, this is what we’re doing, using our platform to help out small business," said Fresh Marrow, organizer.
While Monday only marks the third time Juneteenth is being observed as a federal holiday, its historic origin dates back nearly 160 years, commemorating the day Union soldiers marched to Galveston, Texas in 1865 informing thousands of enslaved people that they were free.
That was two years after former President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.