ST. LOUIS – Many organizations are holding Juneteenth celebrations this weekend to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States, and one group in north St. Louis takes a closer look back at that history through community service.

The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists held its third annual Juneteenth celebration Saturday. The organization says it’s important to recognize the history of the day that first became recognized as a national holiday last year.

“This is our third annual juneteenth day of action, and basically what we chose to do was a community service type activity,” said Lew Moye, president of Emeritus STL CTY. “That community service same as last year is to clean Dr. MLK Drive.”

The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists held a Juneteenth Day of Action rally ahead of a cleanup of MLK Drive. Moye was also joined by vice president Damini Melvin, Missouri State Rep. Cori Bush and St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones.

‘”Today we’re cleaning up sections of Dr. Luther King from Grand down to Hoidamont. … So that we can continue to take pride in our communities, especially one of the most neglected areas of the city,” said Melvin.

Mayor Jones says remembering the significance of what happened June 19 as a community is part of a positive movement for St. Louis City.

“It means that everybody is in and that we realize our prosperity has to be shared, and it’s going to require all of us at the table to make our city move forward,” said Jones. “My door is open for anybody that wants to work with me to make sure we lift these communities and help them thrive.”

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