Advocating for Black lives on Juneteenth

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Friday is Juneteenth, also known as June 19. It memorializes slavery’s end in this country, 155 years ago in 1865. On Friday in 2020, Sioux Falls saw a demonstration in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Along Minnesota Avenue in central Sioux Falls, you couldn’t miss this vocal group.

“We want to get our message out still,” Abby Turner of Sioux Falls said. “We don’t want it to stop and people to forget.”

“I’m here today because a change needs to be made, and a change needs to be made soon,” Julia Ebbinga of Hartford, S.D. said.

The demonstrators made their case just steps away from a statue of Dr. Martin Luther King.

“I think it’s important to understand that we are all equal, and we don’t want to be treated different than anyone else,” Turner said. “We’re not trying to be superior than anyone else, we just want to be just treated same as everyone.”

“I think what’s most important for people to understand is when we say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ we’re not saying that their lives do not,” Ebbinga said. “I’m a firm believer that all lives do matter, however, we need to focus on these lives right now.”

Juneteenth is about Black lives, like this movement.

“I think that Juneteenth is something that needs to be talked about more,” Ebbinga said. “Growing up, I wasn’t even quite sure what Juneteenth was because it wasn’t brought up in my education system, and I think the fact that now everyone’s talking about Juneteenth, and this is on the same day, is remarkable. I think it’s a really great, and I wouldn’t want to have it on any other day.”

“Change is gonna come from the younger people, and I’m happy to tag along,” Jeanne Chamness of Hartford, S.D. said. “But they’re the ones who’s going to make the change, they’re the ones … change the world.”

“I want to say I’m really inspired by all the young people behind me who are fighting for these human rights,” Ebbinga said. “Black lives do matter, and they will always matter, not when it’s just a trend.”

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