Rose's death was made all the more tragic as it occurred on Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans. Today, two years from June 19, 2018, hundreds marched through the streets of East Pittsburgh in his memory.
The event brought out considerable support from community, friends, and family, including Michelle Kenney, Rose's mother, who addressed the crowd.
"So I'm kind of thinking, if we could get both sides to work together, all our faces would look like Antwon's," said Kenney.
The event was paid for in part by RocNation, an entertainment company founded by rapper Jay-Z. Kenney told the crowd: "When I called RocNation two weeks before all of this took place and said, 'I changed my mind,' they said, 'We got you.' And when I said they meant they had me, they really do have me."
Others in attendance included the mother of Marquis Brown, a Black Duquesne student with a suspicious death; Pittsburgh Steelers player Zach Banner; and numerous politicians, including Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Lt. Governor John Fetterman, and state Reps Ed Gainey (D-East Liberty) and Conor Lamb (D-Mt. Lebanon).
The march last about two hours and included a purple and white balloon release in honor of Rose, as well as a billboard along Route 30 with Rose's photograph and the message: "Antwon Rose II, We will always miss and love him."