Mayor London Breed on Juneteenth
“Growing up, Juneteenth was not only a time to remember the history of our people and our fight for justice and equality; it was a time to celebrate with friends, family, and community. Juneteenth in San Francisco meant carnival rides, watching horses travel down Fillmore Street, getting dressed in your best attire, and coming together to see people perform on stage with live music. It meant gathering around family and friends to witness all the magnificent things in celebration of what we call Freedom Day. It was a day to celebrate the contributions Black San Franciscans have made to the City we all know and love.
Despite all the challenging times we have been through over the years, San Francisco has remained a beacon of hope for thousands of people. Known as the Harlem of the West, where incredible Black musicians like Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday and others would travel from all over the world to play music in the Fillmore. African Americans came here for what they thought would be a better life—they worked hard to create a number of opportunities that helped to build San Francisco.
As we celebrate Juneteenth for another year, it is important to talk about this history and remind people of the challenges we still face today. In a city that has helped set the standard for standing against injustice, fighting for diversity, equality, and pushing for a better life, we must continue doing everything we can to live up to that standard. We owe it to our ancestors, we owe it to the mothers, fathers, grandmothers, and caretakers who raised us, but most importantly, we owe it to ourselves, to continue to support and uplift one another as we work to create a more fair and just city that we can proudly call home.”