We know what happened on the 4th of July and we’re vaguely aware of the meaning behind St. Patrick’s Day, but what about Juneteenth? June 19th is a pivotal point in American history, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
On June 19, 1865 in Galveston, TX, Major General Gordon Granger issued General Orders, Number 3, demanding the emancipation of enslaved African Americans TWO WHOLE YEARS after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued. As you can imagine, many masters weren’t quick to abide by their new laws, but for the first time in history, the black community had a date that was theirs. Despite all fears, frustrations, and further discrimination that would be felt, the last of our ancestors were given their golden ticket to freedom—and if that doesn’t call for a celebration, we don’t know what would.
We, as a society, landmark various historical occasions with gatherings and celebrations, and a handful of local organizations are doing just that—providing spaces to boast all facets of Blackness in light of where Black America has been and where it’s going.
For the 2nd year, this festival will celebrate black excellence with food trucks, live music, and vendors from all over the city. Join the BLOCK PARTY and pick up some incredible goodies while you’re there.
Drive over to Memphis’ own HBC, LeMoyne-Owen, and enjoy live entertainment, food, conversation about Juneteenth and its impact on race relations, and so much more.
From 5-11 PM, TONE is hosting a Juneteenth Family Reunion in partnership with Unapologetic. You’ll enjoy an evening of music, food trucks, games, and more to help celebrate the history of Juneteenth. A note from TONE: “We know it’s been a minute and we’ve missed you, our family, more than you know. That’s why we want you to pull up and celebrate as we invite our ancestors into the space, our space, our new home. This is for us. This is for you…”
Experience the richness of Memphis’ history through an African American historical perspective traditional tours don’t provide. What better way to celebrate Juneteenth than learning more about the incredibly rich history that Black Memphians have built?!
Celebrate at Health Sciences park with tons of live music, a car show, kid zone, freedom run and walk, and so much more. Learn more about the celebration and don’t forget your lawn chair!
If you can’t make it or tune in to any of these happenings, there are many ways you can support the local black community on Juneteenth, and beyond.