Across the nation, people are celebrating Juneteenth to honor the day the last slaves were finally freed on June 19, 1865. One of those observations was in Minot. we were there for the second annual event and spoke with people about why it’s so important for people to come together, especially during this time.
“To celebrate the day that everybody became free. Everybody truly became free,” said Noble Tart, 15 years old.
Tart was just one of nearly 200 people celebrating Juneteenth in Minot on Friday. It’s a stark contrast from last year when there were only around 20 people.
“That just means the Minot community is really trying so hard to understand, not just what unity is, but how we can just all live equally together and enjoy each other’s company, which is a really big deal,” said Ernest Usher, Community advocate/organizer.
People of all ages and races gathered at City Hall to watch the raising of the Juneteenth flag. There were a few speakers on hand who explained the significance of the day.
After that, they walked in a Freedom March out to Oak Park shouting, “United we stand. Divided we fall.”
“We’re showing people we are united and we refuse to fall by being divided. So, we had to do the march because we wanted to show the whole community whether you could come, whether you had to go to work, if you were driving by, you see us marching together and that’s a big deal,” said Usher.
One mother said this was a good opportunity to teach her son about racial equality and current events surrounding it.
“It’s important for him to be a part of this and be aware of what’s going on. And also be aware that his presence and voice can also make a difference. And if he does have a privilege more than somebody else, he needs to use that to advocate for them. So, if you have a voice, you can use it for people who don’t have a voice,” said Jesse Gallegos, first-year attendee.
Just like Gallegos, for many people, this was their first time celebrating Juneteenth. But you don’t have to be an adult to understand why today is so important.
“No matter what color your skin is, you should always treat others fairly,” said Caden Reid, 7 years old.
“What I mostly say is that we’re mostly the same color, but one is lighter and one is darker,” said Ashyrah Tipke, 9 years old.
Tart and Tipke share some of their own advice.
“You could still love everybody the same and it doesn’t matter if you get bullied or not. I got bullied a lot, but I really didn’t care. I still loved them, and I still cared for them and I still helped them up,” Tipke said.
“I want them to know the things that we’ve been going through ever since we’ve been here, basically. I just want everybody to really understand and prevent that from happening, ever again,” Tart said.
Usher said if you couldn’t make today’s event, there will be more in the future that you can get involved in.