Every year, cities, towns and villages across the country celebrate June 19 as Freedom Day and in some cases as a second Independence Day for Black communities across America. That’s because on June 19, 1865 – two years after passage of the Emancipation Proclamation is when the last enslaved people in Galveston, Texas learned that they were free. This day became known as Juneteenth by the people in Texas.
The celebration, however, is celebrated far and wide across America and even across the globe. The day is marked with celebratory and vibrant activities including music, parades, fireworks and much more.
Here is a roundup of celebrations happening in American cities:
Philadelphia will mark Juneteenth will a collection of events starting on June 19 through July 4. The Museum of the American Revolution as well as The African American Museum in Philadelphia are both hosting events. Several community events and a light show have also been planned. Check out the full list here.
For the past 12 years, New York’s Brownsville community has hosted a festival. Each year features a theme that educates the Black community on its history while creatively changing the narrative of the devastating impact of slavery. Learn more about New York’s Juneteenth celebrations.
In Little Rock, Arkansas, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center will host a multiday event that will commence with a grand finale online. The virtual extravaganza will celebrate African American freedom and achievement by delivering stories and experiences of Arkansans while delving into history, achievements, success and talents of local business owners, artists and musicians.
Cities of all sizes are celebrating Juneteenth. In Gulfport, MS the city is launching a city-wide collaborative effort. The planning is completely organized by the Juneteenth Committee and the founder Bobby Hudson III. It includes several events as a proclamation presented by Mayor Billy Hewes. The family-friendly three-day event called the Gulfport City-Wide Juneteenth Celebration – Freedom Weekend will kick off Friday, June 18, 2021.
Want to see how your community is celebrating Juneteenth? Check out our list of events here:
Arkansas: Little Rock
Iowa: Des Moine
Kansas: Prarie Village
Missouri: Kansas City
New Hampshire: Portsmouth
New Jersey: Union
New Mexico: Albuquerque
New York: Brooklyn
North Carolina: Durham
North Dakota: Fargo
Rhode Island: Providence
South Carolina: Columbia
South Dakota: Sioux Falls
West Virginia: Huntington
Wisconsin: Fond du Lac