Amarillo’s Juneteenth parade celebration in North Heights

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — On Saturday, Amarillo held its Juneteenth parade with hundreds coming out to participate and line the streets of North Heights.

The event started Saturday at the Black Historical Cultural Center on North Hayden street and ended at Bones Hooks Park, going all the way down North Hughes.

Keith Grays, the event coordinator said the importance of the event in North Heights is immense.

“We call this North Heights Texas. We are elated that all people from all backgrounds and walks of life are celebrating emancipation proclamation,” said Grays.

Members of the Amarillo Police Department, Amarillo Fire Department, and city council were on hand.

As nationwide protests continue against police brutality, Amarillo Police Chief Martin Birkenfeld said officers were out recruiting to make APD more diverse.

“We want to look like our community looks,” said Chief Martin Birkenfeld.

There was also a community lunch with a program afterwards, featuring several keynote speakers.

Grays said the North Heights neighborhood is a melting pot of culture and diversity and that is the importance of the parade and event.

“We’re free, we’re free people. We are just happy to be free people. Not just about slavery, but we’re free to walk down the street and hold hands with a white person now. We have interracial marriages. We are a melting pot in north heights and we love ourselves out here,” added Grays.

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