‘Juneteenth’ refers to that day, June 19, 1865, when slaves in Texas were freed by the Union Army–two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Imagine. Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in 45 states, including Florida. Indeed, there are celebrations of Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, across the Sunshine State. Here’s a few in our area, all free and open to the public:
- Spady Cultural Heritage Museum will sponsor a Juneteenth Celebration as part of the Frog Alley Caribbean Festival in Delray Beach on June 8. That celebration will feature the work and hands-on instruction of Mary Graham Grant, below, an artist-in-residence who practices the traditional art form of sewing sweetgrass baskets by the Gullah Geechee people, who were brought to coastal South Carolina from West Africa during the slave trade. Learn more here.
- The City of Lauderdale Lakes is hosting its third annual Art of Triumph: Juneteenth Celebration from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at the Multipurpose Auditorium, located at 4340 Northwest 36th Street. The free event includes a traditional dinner showcase and a theatrical performance by Ashanti Cultural Arts. Learn more here.
- Discussions, networking–and drink specials!–will happen in the name of ‘Emancipation Day’ along with performances in honor of Black Music Month at The Urban in Overtown, 1000 NW 2nd Avenue. The sponsor is the Black Professionals Network. Learn more about the free event here.
- The daylong, second annual South Broward Juneteenth Festival: Highlighting a Forgotten Holiday will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 15 at the Washington Park Community Center, located at 5199 Pembroke Road in Hollywood. The family-friendly event kicks off with a lively parade led by Junkanoo dancers and stilt walkers, which will then be followed by gospel performances, artists, motivational speakers and a bounce house for children. Learn more here.