June 19 – known as Juneteenth, Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day, Freedom Day or Liberation Day – is a day to recognize the true end of slavery in the United States and celebrate Black freedom and culture.
Emancipation Day is celebrated annually on June 19 because it’s the day the enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, heard the news of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. In 2021, President Joe Biden established Juneteenth as a federal holiday, making it the first new federal holiday established since Martin Lurther King Jr. Day in 1983.
Read through our Juneteenth Archives to learn more about the holiday and read on below to find out where to celebrate Freedom Day in some major cities around the U.S.
Atlanta: Known as the mecca of the Civil Rights Movement and referred to as the “Black Mecca” since it is a city associated with great achievements made by Black people in education, politics, music and more, Atlanta is set to host free concerts, festivals, tours, art and an annual Juneteenth parade. Juneteenth celebrations in the Atlanta metro area will have over 300 Black-owned vendors, music, historical re-enactments, children’s activities and a 5K Freedom Run.
Baltimore: On June 18 and 19, Baltimore will host the 45th annual AFRAM Festival, which is one of the biggest Black cultural arts festivals on the East Coast. The two-day event was virtual in 2021 and will be in-person again this year. This year’s performers include Young Bleu, Ne-Yo, DJ Quicksilva and more.
Boston: This year, Boston will hold its first five-day Juneteenth festival called the Embrace Ideas Festival, which will be put on by non-profit King Boston and will start on June 13. Martin Luther King Jr’s granddaughter, Yolanda King, will kick off the five days filled with music performances, art, a block party and more.
Chicago: To celebrate freedom and Black history and culture, the Windy City will feature events and programs related to museums, history and culture, theater and music, festivals and celebrations, markets, pop-up events and more in the days leading up to June 19. Events include a Juneteenth BBQ and the musical 1619: The Journey of a People, playing at the Vittum Theatre from June 17-19.
Detroit: In Detroit, there will be a Juneteenth Detroit Festival, A Juneteenth Freedom Fest and a Juneteenth Celebration Community Give Back Party. The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History will also host a Juneteenth Jubilee Freedom Weekend June 18 and 19.
New York City: The Big Apple is another major city with multiple Juneteenth events. Presented by Juneteenth NY, the celebration, which is in its 13th year, will offer three free events around the theme of “Unity in the Black Family Unit.” The events include a virtual summit, a festival and a concert. In 2019, 5,000 people attended Juneteenth NY in person and 20,000 people joined virtually in 2020.
Los Angeles: Los Angeles will also have virtual and in-person events to celebrate Juneteenth this year. Events start on June 15 and run through June 20. Celebrations include weekend festivals, museum programming and more.