What is Juneteenth?
On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas. He informed the enslaved African Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. This momentous occasion has been celebrated as Juneteenth — a combination of June and 19 — for over 150 years. Juneteenth is a time to gather as a family, reflect on the past and look to the future. Discover ways to celebrate this African American cultural tradition of music, food, and freedom.
Juneteenth Reading list curated by the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Discover more about the history of Juneteenth and African American cultural traditions with a summer reading list curated by the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth
Juneteenth is an often-overlooked event in our nation’s history. On June 19th, 1865, Union troops freed enslaved African Americans in Galveston Bay and across Texas some two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
Why is Juneteenth Important?
National Museum of African American History and Culture scholars explore the origins of Juneteenth, the meaning of freedom and African American cultural traditions.
Events Celebrating Juneteenth
June 19th - Juneteenth Joy Virtual Celebration – LA Central Library, 3:00-4:00pm
Join the Los Angeles Public Library’s Teen’Scape department, Black Being, and DJ pastelShade for a virtual celebration and share the connection we have through song in this communal music experience. This event will invite movement through dancing, ancestor remembrance through ritual, and an opportunity to collectively celebrate our liberation and resilience. pastelShade (he/they) is an interdisciplinary artist & LA based DJ working with body movement, sound experimentation, and vocal exercise to explore BIPOC queer feminist theory. Their rhythmic multi-genre sets explore notions of resiliency, femme embodiment and amplify queer narrative.
For more information and to register click here
June 19th – Leimert Park Rising Juneteenth Celebration 2021, 12:00-7:00pm
Juneteenth 2021, we’re building a model for cooperative economics in Leimert Park Village. Three stages and two days of live music, live art, storytelling, and idea-sharing powered by the people.
For more information check out their website.
June 19th – Genealogy Garage: Finding American Slave Ancestors, 11:00-12:00pm
In honor of Juneteenth, genealogy subject specialist Julie Huffman will shine a light on finding our slave and former slave ancestors. It's a tricky task to identify these ancestors, but not impossible! Join us to learn some unusual ways to uncover and give a name to the people who struggled and paved the way for our lives today.
For more information and to register click here.
June 19th- 20th – Juneteenth Heritage Festival, 10:00am-6:00pm
Join the celebration at the two-day Juneteenth Heritage Festival this year at the Watts Historical Train Station, 1686 East 103rd St. Black Arts Los Angeles ("BALA") has partnered with Build Plus of Watts to present two days of fun the whole family will enjoy. Come enjoy the live entertainment, crafts in the Kidz Zone, food trucks, rides, vendors and more.
For more information click here.