Juneteenth Celebrations Across the U.S. this Weekend
Shutterstock photo by Antwon McMullen
The U.S. Senate’s most recent bill to consider Juneteenth/Freedom Day (the end of slavery on June 19) as a federal holiday came just in time for Juneteenth 2021.
Juneteenth celebrations, in light of COVID-19, are limited in terms of outing events, but the celebrations go on. And in the holiday’s growth in popularity over the years, cities around the nation have put together celebratory markets and festivals to honor the 156 years of emancipation.
Better to start where Juneteenth originated, Texas, which was the last state to free its slaves two years after emancipation. Because of this, Black Texans celebrate Juneteenth as a way to commemorate the final eradication of slavery in their home state.
- The annual Juneteenth parade in Texas will not take place this year, however, the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum is hosting a market event that invites small Black businesses to display their products. This event, the BLCK Market, is also advertised to run every first Friday and second Saturday of each month, according the BLCKMARKET.com.
- The Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park is also hosting a special Juneteenth tour of the Jack Yates House, a house belonging to free man John Henry “Jack” Yates who was born to two slaves and was able to read despite the ability being prohibited to Black men and women at the time.
- A food drive will be active this weekend as well. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center will host an MLK Juneteenth Drive-Thru Celebration, food and hygiene products will be available for the community to pick up.
There’s also a long-standing Texan Miss Juneteenth pageant. It sponsors its winners and runner-ups with scholarships.
Even more south than Texas, Miami, one of the few cities that welcomes ethnic diversity, is celebrating Juneteenth in true Miami fashion.
- Brunches and day parties at restaurants and outdoor lounges across South Florida are scheduled throughout the entire Juneteenth weekend.
- Calder Casino in Miami Gardens is hosting a drive-in celebration, hosted by the city’s mayor and councilman. The tailgate-like drive-in will consist of merchandise being sold, stationed food trucks, and music by DJ BoWeezy. All visitors must remain in their cars, with no more than five people per car, but lawnchairs and lounging is more than welcomed.
- The Sand Bowl at Bandshell Park in Miami Beach is throwing its 4th annual Juneteenth food and music festival weekend celebration. Filled with live R&B and Soul music and a father’s day awards and dinner event, the event is expected to be joyous.
- Florida International University is also throwing their own Juneteenth event. This free inaugural Freedom Day celebration welcomes all of South Florida’s university community as local artisan vendors, live DJ performances by DJ OSOCITY and Curtis Lundy, art exhibitions by the Frost Art Museum, food trucks, raffles, and a Bacardi Lounge, this event is sure to leave lasting impressions on its guests.
Dozens more Juneteenth events in South Florida can be found at this link https://www.eventbrite.com/d/fl–miami/juneteenth/?page=1, or just type in Juneteenth into Eventbrite.com.
Atlanta, Georgia, the city which holds amongst the highest population of Black people in the nation, and which sees amongst the most Black success in film and business, holds its end of the bargain when it comes to celebrating Freedom Day.
- A three-day event at Centennial Olympic Park called the Juneteenth Atlanta Parade & Music Festival is a highly anticipated event. This event will include music, an African drum and dance, face painting for kids, a 5k run/walk, and of course food.
- The Atlantic History Center will be throwing an online event; a virtual display of Black innovation, creativity, and excellence.
Hundreds of celebrations small and large are expected to begin Friday, June 18th. And there’s much to celebrate considering the holiday’s recent national recognition. Tune in to your local culture center’s website or black-owned business if ever you are searching for a Juneteenth celebration.
Scriberr News reached out to California’s Highway Patrol but did not hear back by the press deadline