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The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

Statement from Mayor London Breed on Juneteenth

San Francisco, CA - “Growing up in the Fillmore, I always looked forward to the Juneteenth Festival, right in the heart of the Western Addition community.

The Black Cowboys would ride their horses through the crowd. Performers, both young and old, would discuss and re-enact the history of Juneteenth. We gorged ourselves on wonderful homemade food – including that delicious barbecue – which didn’t just fill the belly, it fed the soul. And folks would sell all manner of handmade items celebrating the Black community and illustrating our culture and experience.

Yes, Juneteenth has always been a special time for me, as an African American woman – this tradition, here in my own neighborhood, celebrating my people WITH my people … it made me feel part of something larger than myself, and it made me feel valued. 

It wasn’t just about the celebration. Juneteenth has always been so much more than a festival – it’s a reminder of our history, a reminder of the bonds of slavery, of our long struggle for equality. And it’s a reminder that, despite our progress, we continue to face so many challenges. There are still so many barriers to equality, to equity and to justice.

When we came together during Juneteenth, we were empowered to celebrate, unapologetically, our community, our culture, and our significance to this country.  As we celebrate Juneteenth this year, at a time when there is a renewed call – an awe-inspiring DEMAND – for justice, and for change, we must recommit ourselves to the work we have to do. Our charge is to create a more equitable society for all of us, because all lives can’t matter unless BLACK lives matter!”