ELIZABETH, NJ — In celebration of Juneteenth First Republic Restaurant and Lounge hosted a car caravan, followed by a free outdoor film screening.

The caravan with police escort began at Veterans Memorial Park and ended at First Republic just after 6:30 p.m. The film “Just Mercy” is based on the true story of a young black lawyer who gets an innocent man off death row in Alabama. Dozens of individuals and families showed up to participate in the caravan and watch the film. 

Juneteenth marks the day when slaves in Texas were freed two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The anniversary has received special media attention this year due to the number of protests against racial violence happening all over the country.

This modified celebration is quite different from last year’s Juneteenth celebration hosted by the city. There was an official parade starting from city hall and ending at the Elizabeth Marina where a festival was held.