A local racial justice group is marching this Friday across Ballard to commemorate Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day.
The march is being organized by Justice for Black Lives, a community group founded by Dmarkis Wigfall. The group will meet at West Woodland Park playground in Phinney (Phinney Ave N & N 59th St) at 10am, and will march through Ballard to 5420 22nd Avenue NW, ending at 2pm.
Wigfall, who works at Rudy’s barbershop in Ballard, says he saw a need to organize within the neighborhood, and recruited a committee including 20 “black/brown/white/Queer/POC/allies that all have ties extending beyond Ballard in the broader Seattle metropolitan area.”
“Together, we want to empower neighbors, friends, and family who have asked what they can do to help in these times and become involved in the mission to combat police violence and systemic racism,” Wigfall says.
Juneteenth (aka Freedom Day or Emancipation Day) is in recognition of June 19, 1865, the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in Texas.
“This is not a one time cause,” Wigfall says. “Fighting for what is right is never easy, nor is it an overnight fix. This group provides a place to engage respectfully and peacefully in an on-going dialogue that aims to find ways to end systemic racism in America and encourage people to take action.”