Some members of the Rochester community came out to what is called the "Freedom Riders" bike ride. The ride was put on as a way to celebrate the Juneteenth weekend. It is also a way to highlight important locations in Rochester's history.

Cyclists from all across town came together Saturday morning to meet on Joseph Avenue. 

What You Need To Know

  • Community members came out to celebrate Juneteenth and local history with a "Freedom Riders" bike ride
  • The event paid homage to Freedom Riders of the 1960s, and also tried to keep local Black history alive
  • The group discussed Black issues and topics across town

Rashad J. Smith helped organize the event. He says the purpose of the Freedom Ride was to pay homage to the past Freedom Riders of the 1960s, but to also keep local black history alive. 

"As we celebrate Juneteenth, we have to also remember while we're commemorating and partying, which are all things that I like to do, but there is a historical context that we have to take with us and we have to educate the community every opportunity that we get," said Smith. 

After the cyclists left the Avenue Black Box Theatre, they made their way to Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park on Court Street. Then, they headed towards downtown and stopped by Nathaniel Square Convenience Store, a Black-owned business.

"I was like, let's make it a Juneteenth weekend thing where we highlight black spaces and black businesses around the Rochester area," said Devin Anglin. "Naturally, it was a longer route, but we just condensed it to the east side and hopefully we can continue in a couple weeks on the west side." 

At each of the destinations, the group talked about key Black issues. They talked about everything from the Rochester Race Riots of 1964, to the recent controversy where radio hosts Kimberly and Beck were fired for making an offensive comment