Celebrating Juneteenth and Our Ongoing Aspirations Toward Equality
Also known as Freedom Day, Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of slaves in Galveston, Texas—the last slaves to learn of emancipation—on June 19, 1865, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation at the start of 1863 amid the Civil War. Juneteenth has become a time to celebrate freedom and commemorate black liberation from the institution of slavery, and to highlight the resilience, solidarity, achievements and culture of the black community.
The work toward true political equality is at the heart of our work at American Promise. The promise of equal representation may be a founding ideal in our nation, but throughout our history and today it is unfortunately far from reality. Despite this, over the centuries many groups of Americans have fought to demand their rights—no group more so than the black community, whose battle for equality in society and under the law in the face of brutality and discrimination has continued throughout the course of our nation’s history. We honor and celebrate that strength and spirit.
Around Juneteenth, people across the country will be celebrating the promise of freedom and equality. Check out some of the celebrations going on across the country.
June 15 and 19, Washington, D.C: Juneteenth in D.C. events include a festival from featuring music, speakers and outreach booths, and a community learning event with historians, community organizers and artists.
June 19, Boston, MA: The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, in partnership with The Urban Labs, hosts a Juneteenth celebration from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Special events include a discussion on how to acknowledge black histories.
June 19, Brooklyn, NY: This NYC Parks event includes a performance by Alvin Ailey Extension and remarks from NYC Council Member Mark Treyger.
June 22, Philadelphia, PA: The Juneteenth Parade and Festival offers a full day of entertainment, including a breakfast event, an afternoon parade, and a musicfest from afternoon to evening.
June 14-16, Atlanta, GA: This three-day festival has activities for all ages, including a parade, car and bike show, recreational events and lots of musical performers.
June 14-16, Memphis, TN: The three-day Juneteenth Urban Music Festival also features a kids zone, dancing, health and wellness booths, and arts and crafts vendors.
June 15, Jackson, MS: The city’s free Juneteenth Blues in the Park Concert features a variety of performers and runs from noon to 8 p.m.
June 22-23, Eatonville, FL: The Central Florida Juneteenth Festival has a full lineup including live performances, family movie night, art exhibits and a dance-off.
June 22, Greenville, SC: The Juneteenth Celebration Festival, hosted by the 212 Community Development Corporation, will include speakers addressing issues that the local black community faces, including gentrification, access to economic opportunity, and problems within the educational system. The festival also will feature more than 20 vendors from the local black business community.
Various dates, Chicago, IL: A variety of organizations throughout Chicago are hosting Juneteenth events, with dance, arts, sculpture contests and more.
June 13-16, Tulsa, OK: The Tulsa Juneteenth celebration offers a weekend of entertainment including musical performances, visual arts presentations and educational workshops.
June 15, Kansas City, MO: The 18th & Vine Historic District will host the JuneteenthKC Festival Celebration featuring a youth activity zone, gospel jubilee, community health fair and storytime.
June 15, St. Louis, MO: The Delmar Loop Juneteenth Celebration will feature musical performances, activities at Delmar Loop businesses, and food vendors.
June 19, Milwaukee, WI: The Juneteenth Day Festival features musical performances, vendors and community organizations sharing resources for residents of all ages.
Various dates, Dallas, TX: Juneteenth events in the Dallas-Fort Worth area include cookouts, parades, and a music and arts festival.
June 13-16, Amarillo, TX: This Juneteenth celebration includes an all-star women’s basketball game, talent show, parade and Jazz in the Park concert.
June 15-16, Denver: The Juneteenth celebration includes a music festival with headliners Ashanti and Ro James, an awards ceremony, food vendors, and an NBA Tourney.
June 15, Phoenix: The Phoenix Juneteenth festival features a marketplace, food court, cultural stage, children’s activities, arts and crafts, youth town hall, free health screenings, historical exhibits, live music and much more.
June 15 and 19, Houston, TX: The Emancipation Park Conservancy plans several events to celebrate Juneteenth. Celebrations revolve around Emancipation Park, established in 1872 by four former slaves who bought 10 acres for $800 to create a place to remember and celebrate their freedom in a segregated society.
June 17-23, Missouri City, Texas: One of the largest Juneteenth celebrations in the nation, the Missouri City Juneteenth Foundation Celebration features a parade, a music festival, a golf tournament, family fun day, and much more.
June 15-16, San Francisco Bay: Check out six fun ways to celebrate across the Bay, in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose and more.
June 15-16, Los Angeles, CA: This free family festival includes fine art, fashion and jewelry, food, music and more.
June 16-18, across Seattle: Free events across Seattle include kids’ activities, jazz and choir performances, ice cream socials and much more.
June 19, Sacramento: 2019 Juneteenth at the State Capitol Celebration honors the ancient ones, focusing on our Pan African heritage during Spanish, Mexican and US influences along our journey toward freedom.