Transcript for George Floyd commemorated in Brooklyn
Turning now, Americans are celebrating their first-ever juneteenth national holiday this morning, with a tribute to a man whose death accelerated a movement to make the day federally recognized. ABC's Zachary Keith is in Brooklyn with the unveiling of a statue of George Floyd. Good morning, Zachary. Reporter: Eva, good to you as well. You see the silhouette of the statue behind me. There's reason for celebration from Brooklyn to the bay area. In some ways, the story of George Floyd and the story of juneteenth are intertwined if not synonymous. Both an example of dignity denied. On one hand, you have the historical perspective, you have 250,000 black people living in slavery, who waited a couple years to get the message that they were free. And in real-time, you have the story of a man, George Floyd, who moved north for more, and was murdered. In his passing, it seems he brought black people, one incremental step, closer to freedom. true freedom has been elusive for black America. But this morning, there's joy across the country. All of it in celebration of the federal holiday acknowledging juneteenth, a national Independence day. In Florida, kids from summer camp programs join the community for a peaceful half-mile March. That's nearly 200 pre-k students in Kansas City, Missouri, paraded and performed to commemorate the importance of juneteenth. And in Brooklyn, New York, a new five-foot-tall sculpture months in the making will be unveiled. George Floyd has come to embody America's promise and painful past. With a stroke of the pen, president Biden wrote history this week. Juneteenth marks the day that federal troops moved into galveston, Texas, to free the last remaining slaves in 1865. Advocates had been fighting for 94-year-old miss Opal Lee is one of them. Often referred to as the grandmother of the movement. She pushed to make this a national holiday. Opal speaking out on "Gma3" on Friday. I just know that the time has come for us to work together to dispel the disparities we have and the disparities we do have. Reporter: Following the murder of George Floyd in a year of protests and unrest, there's been a conversation and to a degree, a confrontation around the issue of race, something George Floyd's brother, Terence, and I spoke about. I believe my brother gave us a voice. We kind of helped us realize that we have to wake up. Reporter: This artist hopes his work honors George Floyd's life and legacy, a source of stngth and resilience. For me, the sculpture brings understanding. From understanding comes action. And action comes change. Reporter: Before his brother moved north to Minnesota, he called and said that he was in search of better and more. It's hard not to reflect on those former slaves and their search for opportunity in the north. Today is a celebration but also an acknowledgment of what folks have been through and the endurance that they carry today. Whit? History and recognition, a long time in the making. Zachary kiesch, thank you for your reporting.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.