In Newark, New Jersey, activists and community members will kick off the Juneteenth holiday weekend with a rally to call for slavery reparations.
Beginning at noon on Friday, people will take to the streets of the state’s largest city for the “Juneteenth March And Rally For Reparations, Justice And Democracy.”
The rally, organized by over 50 local social justice organizations, including the New Jersey Institute For Social Justice (NJISJ) and the People’s Organization For Progress (POP), is meant to bring attention to several initiatives in the state and beyond.
People will hit the streets to demand reparations for African Americans whose ancestors were enslaved for centuries in this country. They will also rally for the passage of bill A938/S386 by the New Jersey State Legislature, which would establish a state reparations task force and the passage of H.R. 40 by Congress to create a national commission to study slavery and discrimination in the US and recommend potential remedies including reparations.
In a previous interview with ESSENCE, NJISJ Law Policy Director Andrea McChristian said that “New Jersey was known as the slave state of the North .”NJISJ launched the Say The Word Reparations campaign on Juneteenth in 2021 to push for creating a state reparations task force. “We’re repairing a harm that was created by design, that we need to fix intentionally by design as well,” she said.
At today’s rally for reparations, several activists, elected officials and community groups are expected to speak, including Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, NJISJ President and CEO Ryan Haygood, Patch.com reports.
“Black people are still not free 157 years after the first Juneteenth. More than commemorating, Juneteenth requires us to join the fight for freedom and reparations for Black people,” Haygood said on Twitter.
“Join 50+ orgs in the fight today for the Juneteenth March And Rally For Reparations, Justice, And Democracy, he added.