The Pulse

Juneteenth Events in Tulsa

TULSA–Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

More specifically, it commemorates Union army general Gordon Granger announcing federal orders in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, proclaiming that all slaves in Texas were free. 

A week shy from the celebration, President Donald J. Trump announced his rally would be in Tulsa on June 19.

This announcement was made after the cancellation of the annual Juneteenth Celebration in Tulsa.

The board released the following statement: “While Juneteenth commemorates African-American freedom, emphasizes education, and celebrates the rich heritage of Greenwood, the new health precautions and need for social distancing has limited our ability to create a multi-arts experience that will be safe for our audience.

“Although we cannot celebrate in person this year, we encourage everyone to use #IAMJUNETEENTH and #TulsaTogether to share how you plan to honor Juneteenth while social distancing.

“Our committee at Tulsa’s Juneteenth Celebration thanks you for your continued support through these difficult times and looks forward to bringing Juneteenth back in 2021.”

Rightfully, African-American communities across the country outwardly expressed disgust for his lack of care for social injustices and much more.

Amazingly, President Trump rescheduled his rally for the following day.    

COVID-19, Trump, his supporters, nor the rain could stop the community from putting on a beautiful celebration. 

Within seven days, local artists and community leaders came together to commemorate Juneteenth.

Radio and television news media, locals and tourists flooded the historic Greenwood District.  Rev. Al Sharpton took the stage and gave an amazing speech where he asked Trump a compelling series of questions, including, “When was America great for everyone?” 

The crowd was moved and continuously touched when gospel singer Le’Andria Johnson, as well as the legendary group Lakeside hit the stage. 

The pulse of the city was the sound our ancestors’ heartbeats.  This continued into Saturday, June 20t, under the bridge on Greenwood.  

 D.J. Harvey, the D.C. Crew (District of Columbia) and others brought the community back out for a block party. 

Starr Fisher and Ojo Bailey put their minds and resources together, despite the Trump rally and their supporters being negative towards the Black Lives Matter movement. 

MSNBC, Channel 6 and other outlets covered the weekend’s festivities. 

The outcome was Trump’s rally had the lowest numbers, while the African American community came together with allies of all races in a peaceful two-day celebration filled with love. 

This is what the Pulse of the City should be on a daily basis, not just on Juneteenth.

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