Juneteenth Events Offer a Look at History and Reminder of the Work That Remains
Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people in Galveston, Texas — the last 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. In the decades since, Juneteenth has become a time to commemorate Black liberation from the institution of slavery, and to highlight the resilience, solidarity, achievements, and culture of the Black community.
At American Promise, Juneteenth also is a reminder of our mission to realize our nation’s promise that we are all created equal, and to unite and empower Americans to pursue the promise of our democracy. After the tumultuous events of 2020 and this year that further exposed longstanding systemic flaws and reawakened calls for inclusion and equity, Juneteenth serves as a time to learn of and from our nation’s history — and reinforces the importance of our work to ensure all Americans have real representation and a voice in our political system.
Here’s a look at some of the in-person and virtual Juneteenth celebrations planned in 2021 across the United States. Check your local media outlets or online calendars to see what’s happening in your community or join one of the online events highlighted below!
This celebration features a June 19 Black History Parade plus three days of music and vendor booths at Centennial Olympic Park.
The Museum of Fine Arts plans a day of free activities and programs that honor the contributions of black artists, scholars, and creative voices. Create your own art, catch a 10-minute spotlight talk, hear tunes from local musicians, and watch “Summer of Soul” to end the day. For those seeking a virtual option, the 11th Annual Juneteenth Emancipation Observance features reading, award presentations, and musical performances.
9th Annual Juneteenth Celebration: Chicago
This two-day celebration of Black freedom, hosted by TheBlackMall.com and the National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum, includes a citywide caravan parade on June 18 and a community recommitment celebration on June 19.
Juneteenth Community Festival: Columbus, OH
Join this June 19 community celebration featuring music, live performances, food trucks, and more.
Juneteenth in the D: Detroit
A June 19 festival and concert experience fueled by education and reconciliation includes food, games, listening, and learning.
Juneteenth Celebration: Houston
The BLCK Market Houston event on June 19 at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum showcases Black-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Juneteenth — Celebrating Freedom Day: Minneapolis
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Juneteenth Community Board plan a week of activities in parks throughout the city, plus virtual events. These include panel discussions, drive-in or outdoor movie showings, and a family night.
Juneteenth: New Orleans
The city’s historic sites and celebrations offer a variety of opportunities to commemorate the abolition of slavery in America. The online resource also includes lists of Black-owned businesses and restaurants to support.
Juneteenth with the Museum: Philadelphia
The Museum of the American Revolution explores the continuing struggle for equality for all from June 17 to 21 with events including walking tours, in-gallery talks, and performances plus online components for those participating remotely. Or head to the Juneteenth Parade & Festival on June 19 for a Freedom Day March, rally program, exhibit and vendor fair, self-guided culture tour and more.
Juneteenth Celebration and Resource Fair: St. Louis
Enjoy food trucks, live music, games, and more at this community event on June 19.
Juneteenth Week: Seattle
The Northwest African American Museum is offering activities and events (some virtual) June 13-21 that include an interactive storytime, book discussion, Youth Night, and Jamboree.
Ten museums of Afrian American history and culture across the country are collaborating for this June 15 online event.
Juneteenth Legacy Project: Virtual and In-Person Events
This Galveston, Texas-based organization plans a series of events on and around June 19 — including a parade, art installation, festival, and historic march — to commemorate the history and meaning of Juneteenth.