Celebrating Juneteenth

By Shantay Robinson

Juneteenth commemorates the day slaves in Texas became aware that slavery had been abolished. Although slavery had been abolished by Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, because there weren’t many Union soldiers in Texas to enforce the January 1, 1963 mandate, African Americans were still in bondage until they were informed on June 19, 1865.

Celebrating Juneteenth means memorializing the freedom African Americans have today. Keeping in mind that this is a country that was built on the bondage of African people is important for us to maintain a perspective of the tenants this country was founded on. While African Americans have the freedom to hold office, create legislation, and protest unfair treatment, understanding there was a time when these things were inconceivable, is necessary to gain greater rights with more vigilance.

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The Juneteenth Celebrations allow for families to bond by honoring the people who endured generations of enslavement for a stake in a country with a population of people constantly fighting for democracy and human rights. Juneteenth is celebrated across the country through parades, festivals, and family cookouts. Here are some of the Juneteenth events happening this year:


  • Telfair Museums – Savannah, GA

Lecture and Free Family Day

June 8 – 9

  • White Plains, NY

Juneteenth Parade and Festival

June 10

  • Santa Clara County, CA

Bay Area Juneteenth Celebration

June 16

  • Philadelphia, PA

Juneteenth Parade and Festival

June 22-23

  • Montpelier Station, VA

James Madison Montpelier Annual Juneteenth Celebration

June 16

  • Little Rock, AR

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

June 16

  • Appleton, WI

African Heritage Annual Juneteenth Festival

June 10

  • Douglasville, GA

Juneteenth Celebration

June 16

  • Vallejo, CA

30thAnnual Juneteenth Celebration

June 16

  • Fayetteville, AK

Northwest Arkansas Juneteenth Celebration

June 16

  • Washington, DC

Juneteenth Jubilee Festival

June 16

  • Atlanta, GA

Juneteenth Parade and Music Festival

June 15 – 17


Continuing Pamela Council’s series began in 2016 to celebrate Juneteenth and honor the ancestors, The Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC)  is pleased to present Council’s RED DRINK 4:00 – 7:00 pm., Miller Outdoor Theater, 6000 Herman Park Drive. Come and join us as we support her outdoor fountain filled with a celebratory drink at Miller. Pour out a little Big Red and toast to freedom.

For More Information Contact: Davinia Reed- 713.526.1015 or dreed@hmaac.org



Shantay Robinson participated in Burnaway’s Art Writers Mentorship Program, Duke University’s The New New South Editorial Fellowship, and CUE Art Foundation’s Art Critic Mentoring Program. She has written for Burnaway, ArtsATL, ARTS.BLACK, AFROPUNK, Number, Inc. and Washington City Paper. While  receiving an MFA in Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design, she served as a docent at the High Museum of Art. She is currently working on a PhD in Writing and Rhetoric at George Mason University.

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