What is Juneteenth?
Last year the US Congress declared that June 19th would be a national holiday in America. The date commemorates the freedom of Black slaves after the message finally arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas from Union troops. This, happening nearly two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on June 19th, 1865. However, while congress just recognized the historical date, Black communities have been remembering the reality of its meaning for decades. Juneteenth is often a time for Black communities to reflect on the history of exploitation and enslavement of Black people. It is a horrific national memory. However, it is a real one. First, the definition of empowerment is “the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.” Furthermore, that is often the sentiment that arises when Black communities use the date as a time to celebrate.
Because of this, around June 19th, memorials for the holiday happen all over the US. These events celebrate Black culture and keep us all from forgetting the truth of this country. Below, is a list of US cities doing just that by the way of music, film, panels, and community:
List Of Celebrations
Galveston, Texas: Juneteenth Festival, McGuire Dent Recreational Center, 6/18
Houston, Texas: Black is Primary, Post Houston, 6/18
Jackson, Mississippi: Juneteenth R&B Jam, Mississippi Coliseum, 6/19
Jacksonville, Florida: Jacksonville Juneteenth City Event, Daily’s Place, 6/18
Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Juneteenth Celebration Raising Cane’s River Center, 6/19
Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana Juneteenth Freedom Music Festival, Old National Centre, 6/18
Denver, Colorado: Juneteenth Music Festival, Five Points, 6/18 – 6/19
Omaha, Nebraska: Malcolm X Memorial Foundation, 6/18
Washington, D.C.: Something In The Water Festival, Independence Ave, 6/17 – 6/19
Memphis, Tennessee: LeMoyne-Owen Juneteenth Concert and Festival, LeMoyne-Owen College, 6/17 – 6/18
Los Angeles, California: The JuneTeenth Fest, Wisdome LA, 6/18
Portland, Oregon: Juneteenth Celebration, Alberta Rose Theatre, 6/18
Seattle, Washington: One Seattle Juneteenth, McCraw Hall, 6/19
Brooklyn, New York: UNITYFEST, Lene Horne Bandshell, 6/19
Minneapolis, Minnesota: BLACK2BLACK, Sabathani Community Center 6/19
Lastly, do you need a virtual event? Read about CNN’s Celebration Concert here.