DETROIT – The weather might have been less than ideal, but that didn’t stop dozens of Juneteenth celebrations from happening across Metro Detroit.
Detroit residents marched and danced proudly.
People across the country celebrated Juneteenth for the first time as a federal holiday this year.
“Just to know that it’s a national holiday means the world so it’s very special to us on this day,” said Damond Petty, a Juneteenth event organizer.
Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the US. Its name stems from June 19, 1865 when the last group of enslaved people learned of their freedom.
“To me personally Juneteenth is a celebration of where we are, removing where we came from and letting people know where we are headed,” Petty said.
The Juneteenth Detroit Festival’s breakout superstar was 5-year-old Robyn ‘Rosie’ White, who was crowned this year’s Miss Juneteenth Michigan.
People came out to the event to support her.
Her mother says the title is fitting since the pint-sized Instagram influencer is using her platform to empower Black and brown girls just like her.
“It shows them that being Black is beautiful. We are it, we’re gonna be it. It’s Juneteenth and celebrate, and I’m so proud of Rosie,” said Kenya White, the child’s mother.
Five year old Instagram influencer and all-around cutie pie Rosie White, is this years Miss Juneteenth! Her Mom says the title is fitting, since the pint-sized superstar is using her platform to empower Black and Brown girls just like her. 💗 pic.twitter.com/Gn790Hpjfx— Priya Mann (@priyamanntv) June 19, 2021
Parades and celebrations like this have grown steadily in recent years.
This free family day event relies entirely on donations and is focused on educating the next generation.
“We want Juneteenth to stay in Detroit so the kids remember our kids to come back to it,” said Petty.
This year’s parade followed a 1.5 mile route starting at Conner and Vernor Highway. If you would like to donate to next year’s Juneteenth Detroit Festival, click here.