BREWER – June 19 is known as the day slavery ended in the United States.
On June 19, 1865, the order announcing the end of the Civil War was read aloud in Texas.
That announcement also proclaimed all slaves were freedmen.
This year, the celebration of the day, known as Juneteenth, will be held differently.
“It’s different from the past 14 years we’ve celebrated it here, because of the death of George Floyd, which has reverberated and had an effect not only here in America but all over the world,” said James Varner of the Maine Human Rights Coalition, standing at Chamberlain Freedom Park in Brewer where the annual celebration is normally held.
Varner says he’ll return to the park on June 19 to celebrate, but instead of hosting a large gathering, the celebration will be smaller in size because of the coronavirus.
The 88-year-old Varner says Floyd’s murder has caused people to come together in ways he’s never seen in his lifetime.
On May 25, Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck until he stopped breathing.