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  • Brian Sylvester

CORAL Stands Proudly with Juneteenth

Springfield, IL (June 15, 2024) CORAL has traditionally walked in the Juneteenth parade yearly to show support for the recognized date that slavery was abolished in the United Stated but as a proud sponsor of the event this year, CORAL also staffed a booth for the weekend to provide information to those interested in what they do for the LGBTQ+ community as well.


Many people may be confused about the difference between Juneteenth and Black Lives Matter.  On June 19, 1865, freedom finally came for the 250,000 enslaved people of Texas.  That day, which would become known as Juneteenth, the Army arrived to enforce what had already been the law of the land for two and a half years — the Emancipation Proclamation.  Today, we recognize that Juneteenth not only marks the end of America’s original sin of slavery but also the beginning of the work at the heart and soul of our Nation:  making the promise of America real for every American. 

Black Lives Matter came into be in 2013, born out of the collective cry for justice for the life of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager shot and killed by George Zimmerman, while innocently walking through a neighborhood.  Originally founded as an online movement by three Black women:  Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi.  Moved by the acquittal of Zimmerman for the killing, Garza wrote what she has called a love letter to the Black community on Facebook and Cullers shared it, adding the hashtag #blacklivesmatter.  It began with a hashtag and grew into a national revolution to recognize the police brutality Black people face.  On another note, both Khan-Cullors and Garza proudly add “queer” to their identities and all three consider the LGBTQ+ Black community included in this movement.

CORAL wants to take this opportunity to thank the folks of Juneteenth for the dedication and work that they have committed to making this event the community wide and welcoming weekend that it has become since the federal proclamation was made in 2021. 

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