How cities across the nation are commemorating this important day in history.
Also known as Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is the significant holiday that commemorates June 19, 1865, when enslaved African Americans in Texas learned about their freedom—which was more than two years after the President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation declaring all slaves free. In an unabashed effort to continue the status quo, having unpaid labor to run their cotton fields and plantation homes. Texas slave owners kept the information away from their "slaves." To get the rogue state
The U.S. government had to send artillery and Union Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with soldiers in tow, to Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of slavery in the country's biggest state.
Today, Juneteenth is celebrated with activities across the nation. From parades, music festivals, picnics, community gatherings to insightful conversations with civil rights activists like Angela Davis, Juneteenth is an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to come together to learn about African American history and promote unity, equality and justice.
Here are several events around the country to help you know how to celebrate Juneteenth in 2023.
Auburn, New York
An Evening with Angela Davis (June 15): Iconic activist, feminist and acclaimed author Angela Davis is the keynote speaker for The Seward House Museum's community-wide commemoration on Juneteenth. The moderated Q&A is hosted by award-winning civil rights journalist, legal analyst and author Jami Floyd in the final resting city of abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
Juneteenth Atlanta Parade & Music Festival (June 16-18): This three-day festival in Centennial Olympic Park is the city's official commemoration of the holiday. Along with its offerings of an annual parade, vendors, a 5K run and drum circle, Juneteenth Atlanta is hosting its first Historical Miss Juneteenth Georgia Pageant to enrich, enhance and promote the essence of finer Black womanhood.
Tulsa Juneteenth (June 15-17): Taking place in the historic Greenwood District—lovingly referenced as Black Wall Street— Tulsa Juneteenth will be home to exciting activations and events that include a 5K & Fun Run, pitch competition, concert featuring Valerie Harding and The Whispers, panel discussions and much more.
Emancipation Celebration (June 17): In the birthplace of Juneteenth, you can join the Nia Cultural Center for an Emancipation Celebration at The Grand 1894 Opera House. The event will honor pioneers on the national and local levels who have made their mark by fighting for freedom, equality, and justice for African Americans.
Indy Juneteenth (June 17): The Eiteljorg Museum will once again host a free day in honor of Juneteenth with performances, activities, food and more! The day of activities will also feature a jazz community celebration with Tammy L. Cooper, program director of the Sankofa Movement group, which teaches black history through live performances that portray famous African American men and women.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Juneteenth Arkansas Festival (June 17): Hosted by the Kimbrough Family Foundation Project, the Juneteenth Arkansas Festival is a full day of community fun and education in celebration of freedom. Guests can partake in food, fun, games and shopping, and enjoy the Juneteenth Festival parade.
Juneteenth Community Day (June 17): Senses of Freedom: The Taste, Sound, and Experience of an African American Celebration is this year's theme for Juneteenth Community Day at The National Museum of African American History and Culture (part of the Smithsonian Collection). Visitors can explore gardening and culinary arts, hear stories, listen to music, and discover their inner artists with crafts for all ages. The public can also visit the Museum’s galleries, grounds and Sweet Home Cafe to learn more about this historic holiday.
Columbia, South Carolina
South Carolina Juneteenth Freedom Fest (June 17-19): Kicking off at Segra Park on June 17th, the 7th Annual Juneteenth Freedom Festival will feature over 100 vendors, live entertainment, interactive exhibits, and educational activities for the masses. Additionally, Yolanda Adams, Tye Tribbett, Jekalyn Carr, Le'Andria Johnson, and others will give a dynamic performance as part of the Juneteenth Joy Fest at the Colonial Life Arena on June 18th. Closing out the three-day festival, attendees can partake in the Juneteenth Freedom Fest Parade on Main Street in downtown Columbia honoring the rich heritage of African Americans in the United States.
Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade & Festival (June 18): Celebrating the oldest commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, the day consists of the Juneteenth parade, marketplace, Children's Village and music festival. Philadelphia businessmen and cultural activists Ali Salahuddin and Michael Rashid founded the Pennsylvania Juneteenth Initiative, Inc in 2019 to produce public cultural events surrounding the holiday's history and significance.
Los Angeles, California
Leimert Park Juneteenth Festival (June 19): Located in the historic Leimert Park Village in Los Angeles, the Leimert Park Juneteenth Festival is a curated experience of great food, and drinks, music, art and culture, featured through 300 Black-owned businesses, three main stages, two DJs stages, one spoken word stage and more. Black Film Space, a non-profit organization to support Black filmmakers, is partnering for a presentation at the John Singleton Exhibition at Azziz Gallery.