Juneteenth

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

This Juneteenth marks two years to the day that Antwon Rose Jr. was shot and killed by an East Pittsburgh Police officer.

KEITH SRAKOCIC / AP

 

On today's program: Michelle Kenney, Antwon Rose’s mother, pushes for new policing laws; and Friday marks Juneteenth, a celebration that marks the end of slavery on June 19, 1865. 

Courtesy of Stop the Violence Pittsburgh

From its best-known settlers and its industrial tycoons to its Eastern European immigrants, Pittsburgh is often typecast as a white city. But the history of African Americans here runs deep.

Photo by John Ford / Courtesy of William Marshall

It’s one of America’s oldest holidays, and among its most historically resonant: On June 19, 1865, the last enslaved African Americans learned they were emancipated. Juneteenth has been celebrated every year since, and 46 states and the District of Columbia now recognize the holiday – including, as of just weeks ago, Pennsylvania.

This year’s Juneteenth is also notable for other reasons, said William Marshall, who has organized the weekend of activities since 2013; he's also the founder of local advocacy group Stop the Violence.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Saturday marked the fourth day of demonstrations in Pittsburgh to protest the killing of an unarmed, black 17-year-old.

Antwon Rose Jr. was fatally shot by East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld on Tuesday night while fleeing a traffic stop. Many are calling for criminal charges to be brought against Rosfeld -- sentiments that were on display during Saturday's Juneteenth parade to celebrate the end of slavery.

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

Pittsburgh’s annual commemoration of slavery’s end has outgrown Downtown’s Market Square. The weekend-long Juneteenth Celebration & Black Music Fest is headed a few blocks west, to Point State Park.