CBTU St. Louis Chapter celebrates Juneteenth with cleanup of MLK Drive
The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) hosted a Juneteenth Clean Sweep June 19 to rally and clean up trash and weeds on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in north St. Louis.
Laborers Local 110’s newly elected Business Manager Ronny Griffin brought several members of his union to help with the effort, and they were joined by members of UNITE HERE Local 74, CWA 6355, State Sen. Karla May, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, St. Louis Labor Council President Pat White and many others to commemorate the date June 19, 1865, when after white Southerners extended the enslavement of countless Black people for more than two months after the end of the Civil War, Union troops arrived in Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln two years earlier.
“On Juneteenth, we honor those who came before us to fight for freedom and justice in the face of blatant oppression,” said Jones, the city’s first Black woman mayor, who declared Juneteenth a holiday in the city earlier this month. “We acknowledge them while recommitting ourselves to build a country in which you can succeed and thrive – no matter the color of your skin.”
President Joe Biden signed a bill declaring Juneteenth a national holiday last week.