DC residents celebrate Emancipation Day
The District commemorated the 160th anniversary of the Emancipation Act, during a day-long celebration last Saturday that stoked calls for D.C. statehood.
The annual event’s first in-person celebration in two years included a parade, speeches from D.C. advocates and leaders, musical performances and wrapped up with a fireworks show.
“In D.C., the vast majority of people who are homeless, who are incarcerated, who are in poverty, who are unemployed are Black people,” Mayoral candidate and councilmember Robert White said in an interview with Street Sense Media at the celebration. “And I think we have to separate freedom from equality and our challenge 160 years ago was freedom. Our challenge now is equality.”Some of the day’s biggest events included musical performances from popular artists like Cee Lo Green, Junk Yard Band, Crystal Waters and Slick Rick the Ruler, who took the stage to a crowd of more than 200 people who danced, sang, and talked throughout the afternoon.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said the celebration marks the reopening of the city after the COVID-19 pandemic. District officials dropped the mask mandate last month and have reopened indoor activities across the city, as COVID-19 cases spiked around the region.
“We are so grateful to you for all of your support for sticking in there over the last two years. and doing everything we asked included getting tested, vaccinated, and boosted,” she said.