AMERICANS have marked Juneteenth by protesting against racism amid nationwide calls to end racial injustice.

The holiday, which commemorates the emancipation of enslaved Black people, is typically celebrated with parades and festivals.

But on Friday, it continued the nationwide push for racial justice in the wake of protests spurred by George Floyd's death in Minneapolis.

Americans paid tribute by participating in demonstrations around the country, holding sit-ins, or taking part in car caravan protests.

Thousands of people came together at a religious rally in Atlanta, while others paused for a moment of silence at the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington DC.

In New York City, several rallies were held throughout the five boroughs as demonstrators marched over the Brooklyn Bridge and gathered in front of the Brooklyn Public Library to demand an end to racism.

New York Gov Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday he'll sign an executive order making Juneteenth a holiday for state employees this year, and would propose a law to make it a state holiday beginning in 2021, WNBC reported.

Hundreds in Missouri marched from St. Louis' Old Courthouse, one of the locations where the landmark Dred Scott case played out.

In Dallas, protesters rallied while pushed baby strollers, while in Chicago, revelers danced to a marching band.

Dozens of people registered to vote in Detroit and called for an end to police brutality.

"Now we have the attention of the world, and we are not going to let this slide," Charity Dean, director of Detroit's Office of Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity, told the Associated Press.

About two dozen Black men, most of whom wore suits, linked arms and stood in front of Nashville's criminal courts.

Behind them was a statue of Adolpho Birch, the first Black man to serve as chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Tennesee Gov Bill Lee, a Republican, signed a proclamation on Friday to recognize Juneteenth Day.

The growing recognition of Juneteenth comes as protests have started to yield results in enacting policing reforms in several locations.

President Donald Trump issued a message to commemorate the holiday, which he said was "both a remembrance of a blight on our history and a celebration of our Nation's unsurpassed ability to triumph over darkness."

"Juneteenth reminds us both of the unimaginable injustice of slavery and the incomparable joy that must have attended emancipation," the White House's statement says.

Trump had originally planned a rally on Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma but rescheduled it for Saturday after receiving backlash for his appearance on a day of significance.

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