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Mayor Adams to light City Hall, municipal buildings red, black, green in honor of Juneteenth

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced that City Hall and other municipal buildings will be illuminated in the Pan-African flag colors of red, black, and green tonight to honor Juneteenth.

This initiative is part of a broader effort to recognize and celebrate the contributions and history of Black Americans.

During his first year in office, Mayor Adams designated Juneteenth a paid city holiday for the first time in New York City history, marking a significant step in acknowledging this important day.

Earlier this month, in honor of Juneteenth, Mayor Adams and the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) introduced “More Than a Brook: Brooklyn Abolitionist Heritage Walk.” This interactive audio tour delves into Brooklyn’s rich history as a vital area for the National Abolitionist Movement and the Underground Railroad. The tour is accessible via smartphone, tablet, or other devices through the LPC’s website.

Furthermore, just yesterday, the LPC voted to designate the Frederick Douglass Memorial Park in Oakwood Heights, Staten Island as an individual landmark. This site is notable as the only non-sectarian cemetery in New York City founded by and for the Black community.

“Juneteenth is a moment to reflect and remember the countless contributions Black Americans have made, and continue to make to this country,” said Mayor Adams.

“As the second Black mayor of New York, I want to lift up our ancestors’ legacies with the reverence that they deserve. Juneteenth is a day that all New Yorkers, and all Americans, should be proud to honor — when the promise of freedom finally started to match Black Americans’ lived reality. But, as we all know, that was only the start of a longer struggle. Today, let us honor our inspiring and troubled past, and continue to build on the progress we have made.”

Although the Emancipation Proclamation declared the end of slavery in 1863, Black people in areas controlled by the Confederacy remained enslaved for two more years.

It was on June 19, 1865, that Union troops marched into Galveston, Texas, freeing those still in bondage. This day is now celebrated as Juneteenth, symbolizing the convergence of promises and reality.

In addition to City Hall, the following municipal buildings will be lit in red, black, and green starting tonight and continuing until tomorrow at sundown:

  • Bronx Borough Hall: 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451
  • The David N. Dinkins Manhattan Municipal Building: 1 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007
  • DSNY Salt Shed Complex: 336 Spring St, New York, NY 10013

In April, Mayor Adams highlighted new economic data showcasing a significant decrease in the unemployment rate for Black New Yorkers since the beginning of his administration.

From January 1, 2022, to April 1, 2024, the unemployment rate among Black residents in the five boroughs fell from 10.7 percent to 7.9 percent — a 26 percent decrease, marking the lowest rate in half a decade. This achievement signifies the first time since 2019 that the Black unemployment rate in New York City has been below 8 percent.

These actions and celebrations are part of Mayor Adams’ ongoing commitment to honoring the legacy of Black Americans and fostering continued progress towards equality and recognition.

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