Juneteenth, sometimes referred to as also known as “Freedom Day,” “Jubilee Day,” “Liberation Day” and “Emancipation Day,” marks the anniversary of the day in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed. It was the first time many African Americans there discovered that President Abraham Lincoln had outlawed slavery two years earlier. The last slaves in Texas were freed on June 19, 1865. Now, Americans come together to celebrate this holiday that honors African Americans’ freedom in the United States.
In honor of this important holiday, here are some meaningful ways to celebrate Juneteenth:
Honor with book magic
Michael Girgenti’s book series, “Strawberry Pencil Magic,” promotes diversity and features two unique books. The first book in the series is called “Peri and Her Plant,” which is about making the world a greener place with the help of friends. The second new book coming out in honor of Juneteenth is called “Peri and Her Fungi.” This book is about Peri finding new and natural remedies to cure his grandma’s sickness Learn more about these books.
The Los Angeles Public Library will host a virtual “Smarty Pants: Story Time: Juneteenth,” where young children can celebrate Juneteenth with stories, songs and rhymes while learning school readiness skills. For kids ages 2 – 5. Online only. Register here.
Hosted by Open Arms Food Pantry and Resource Center, the Juneteenth Festival is full of festivities including notable African American authors, panel discussions, performing artists, a foodie area, a kids zone, workshops and more. This event is free to attend. More information available.
Virginia Avenue Park in Santa Monica is hosting a 30th Annual Juneteenth Celebration to honor justice and freedom in commemoration of the announcement of emancipated African Americans. This festival includes a cultural arts marketplace, live music and food trucks, as well as a performance from three-time Grammy winner Dee Dee Bridgewater. This festival is free and welcome to all ages. Learn more here.
Catch ‘42’ at movie night
Come celebrate Juneteenth with a special screening of “42” in this 75th anniversary year of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball. This screening will include a live performance from the Urban Renewal Project, in addition to a lineup of local, Black-owned food trucks serving delicious soul foods. Entry fee is $14-$30. For more details.
‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ at CAAM
On June 15, the California African American Museum (CAAM) will join nine other Black museums and historical institutions nationwide to hold a virtual Juneteenth celebration inspired by the Negro National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Every different museum has a theme, and CAAM’S theme is “resilience.” This presentation will also include poetry, as well as performances by the African American Cultural Ensemble, Balafon West African Dance and more. The stream is live from 9-11 a.m. Stream here.
Concert at Comfort DTLA
Soulfulofnoise is hosting a Juneteenth concert at Comfort DTLA on Sunday June 19, from 2-6 p.m. The celebration, “Black of our Past, Present, and Future,” will feature performances by acclaimed independent artists plus vendors for guests to shop and support Black-owned businesses. Tickets to the Juneteenth concert are on sale at Eventbrite
Juneteenth 2022: Celebration of Freedom
At 11 a.m. on June 18, at 11 a.m. hear storyteller Binnie Tate Wilkin tell us about the history, stories, folktales, and personal reflections of Juneteenth. This day is a day of remembrance commemorating the end of slavery in 1865. This event is for adults only. Sign up here.
PBS KIDS Resources
Juneteenth Jamboree By Carol Boston Weatherford
This heartwarming story features a young girl who moves from the big city back to her family’s Texas hometown. There, she is introduced to Juneteenth traditions that celebrate the sacrifices of the enslaved Texans who finally learned of their freedom. While making red velvet cake and witnessing the joy of the locals downtown, learning Juneteenth’s history helps her to realize that she is, indeed, home.
This All About the Holiday Series episode on Juneteenth helps explain the origin of the holiday to young viewers. This fun and kid-friendly video help to describe the importance and significance of Juneteenth.
On Sesame Street: Let’s Celebrate Juneteenth this fun and educational video is the perfect way to inform your kids about this holiday. Juneteenth is a time to reflect on the past and share hope for today. For Juneteenth, we pause to honor the day and the people who fought so hard for freedom.