Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. On June 17, 2021, it officially became a federal holiday.

Juneteenth marks our country’s second independence day. Although it has long celebrated in the African American community, this monumental event remains largely unknown to most Americans.

To honor Juneteenth and to reflect on our country’s history we’ve put together a list of recourses. Whether you choose to participate by educating yourself, celebrating with your peers or volunteering in your community, we hope our guide will help you decide.

Educational materials:

·        Read:

o   The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth - National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAH)

o   Juneteenth Reading List from - NMAAH

o   Elizabeth Colomba’s “157 Years of Juneteenth” - The New Yorker

o   The Meaning of Fourth of July to the Enslaved by Frederick Douglass

·        Watch:

o   The Racial Wealth Gap – Senator Corey Booker and others

o   This is Why Juneteenth is Important for America - The Root

o   13th Documentary

o   I Am Not Your Negro Documentary

·        Listen:

o   1619 - The New York Times Podcast

o   Code Switch - NPR

Local events:

·        Juneteenth Art Camp

o   Where: Waterfront Park

o   When: June 13-17, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

·        Lean Into Louisville, Redistricting Panel Discussion

o   Where: Livestreamed online and social media

o   When: June 14, 6:30 p.m.

·        Lean Into Louisville, Presentation: The Kentucky African American Civil War Soldiers Project

o   Where: First Gethsemane Baptist Church, 1159 Algonquin Parkway

o   When: June 15, noon

·        Third Annual Louisville Juneteenth Festival

o   WHERE: Various locations including The Belvedere

o   June 16: Workshop and social, The Presley Post, 734 W Main St. Suite 106, 5-9 p.m.

o   June 17: Lipstick Wars Poetry Slam. Paristown Hall, 724 Brent St., 7-10 p.m. Poets from all over the country will compete for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place cash prizes.

o   June 18: Louisville Juneteenth Fest Culture Business & Bourbon. Rabbit Hole Distillery, 711 E. Jefferson St., 4-7 p.m. An evening of discussions, panels, networking, refreshments, music and giveaways; HBCU Midnight Brunch, Roots 101 Museum, 124 N. 1st St., 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Features a gourmet brunch, DJ, access to the historic Roots 101 Museum exhibits, open bar, dancing, networking and more.

o   June 19: Louisville Juneteenth Festival, Belvedere, 141 N. Sixth St., 3-9 p.m.; Louisville Juneteenth Festival Afterparty, The Wiggle Room, 1066 Bardstown Road, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. 

·        Juneteenth Celebration Block Party

o   Where: 400 Finzer St.

o   When: June 17, 4 p.m. -7 p.m.

·        Race for Justice by Future Ancestors

o   Where: Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center

o   When: June 18, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

·        Juneteenth Youth Jamboree

o   Where: Berrytown Park

o   When: June 18, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Local volunteer opportunities:

·        Volunteer for local Juneteenth events from Metro United Way

·        Louisville Coalition for the Homeless

·        Feed Louisville

·        Change Today, Change Tomorrow