"Here in San Francisco, we are experiencing trauma, pain, suffering in all parts of our lives ... education, mass incarceration, homelessness, housing and mental health," said Phelicia Jones, founder of the community organization Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community. The group, which organized Thursday's Juneteenth kickoff rally, called for more resources toward the city's Black community and for officials to work on eliminating health and education disparities and reducing mass incarceration, among other things.
The Bay Area has a long history of marking Juneteenth. At the rally, Mayor London Breed reminisced about growing up in the city and attending events.
"The pony rides, the carnival, the Black cowboys. We put on our best clothes," Breed said. "But you know what? There was a history ... It felt good despite the challenges that our community continues to face. It felt good to be Black in San Francisco."