Family of Emmett Till discusses importance of Juneteenth

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Councilman Kenneth Stokes at luncheon at Eddie’s for Juneteenth on June 19th, 2021 (Photo: Kate Cornell/12 News)

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Councilman Kenneth Stokes invited the family of Emmett Till to speak on importance of Juneteenth being recognized as an official holiday at Eddie’s Soul Food on Saturday.

Till’s cousin, Priscilla Sterling said it’s a great step in the right direction.

“We’re celebrating the fact that slavery ended June 19,” Sterling said. “But we also know that there are key issues like the Anti Lynching Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Those should be addressed as well.”

Councilman Stokes said it might be a new recognition, but it’s not a new tradition in Jackson.

“In Jackson, Mississippi, we’ve been observing Juneteenth for 25-30 years,” Councilman Stokes said. “We will introduce legislation to the City of Jackson and have a vote by city council to make it a municipal holiday.”

Gloria Johnson, a cousin of Emmett Till’s mother, said she’s thankful for the recognition but it’s only the beginning of the fight.

“In the meantime, we celebrate Juneteenth, and we thank God it happened. So we’re working on the Anti-Lynching Bill so we hope it passes in the name of Emmett Louis Till,” she said.

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