New York City will review the names of its public parks over the next several months in an effort to amplify black voices and celebrate black contributions to the city.
The end goal is to rename parks in each of the five boroughs after Black Americans with historical significance.
In a Juneteenth announcement, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver said the review is a step towards addressing race-related issues in the park system.
The first change also came Friday, when the department created the Juneteenth Grove in Brooklyn's Cadman Plaza — the site of several recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
Parks employees marked the plaza with banners and planted 19 new trees there.
While the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in the South in 1863, the order was not enforced in many places until after the end of the Civil War in 1865.
Juneteenth marks the day on June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers informed enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, that the Civil War had ended and that they were free.
The parks department will announce the new park names by November 2, 2020.
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