Juneteenth celebrations fill the city and region, alongside protests against brutality and racism

With drumbeats and claps, fists in the air, hundreds marched through the heart of Philadelphia on Friday in celebration of Juneteenth, shouting, “Black lives matter! Black lives matter!”

Their chants filled city streets on the 155th anniversary of the day the last enslaved Black people in the United States learned they were free — and on the 21st day since this summer’s protests against police brutality and racial injustice began in Philadelphia.

“It’s incredibly emotional, it’s incredibly powerful. It’s something that’s owed to my ancestors,” said Caroline Dorsey, who demonstrated with her family at Eakins Oval and was glad the city had declared Juneteenth a holiday this year. “To have June 19 celebrated at such a massive level in the city of Philadelphia, the city that is my home ... words can’t describe how proud I am.”

— Justine McDaniel, Julie Shaw, Oona Goodin-Smith

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