Meaningful ways to commemorate Juneteenth in Dallas
Juneteenth, observed each year on June 19, is recognized as the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Celebrations occur nationwide and date back to 1865. In Dallas, Juneteenth celebrations in the 1890s and early 1900s once took place at the private Emancipation Park on Maple Avenue, north of Wolf Street.
Recognized by the House of Representatives in 1996 as the “true day of independence for African-Americans in this country,” Juneteenth is a day that marks the freeing of the last slaves in America. Although President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, news hadn’t reached many regions far south. On June 19, 1865, when U.S. Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, TX. with a regiment of Union Army soldiers, he effectively freed the State’s 200,000 slaves. Former slaves began recognizing the date the very next year.
To commemorate the day, here are ways to engage in meaningful activities with family and friends.
MLK Juneteenth Drive-Thru Celebration: Due to COVID-19, many celebrations will look different this year. Visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 2922 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas, for a drive-thru celebration to receive free nonperishable food items, hygiene kits, household products and more.
June 19 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Learn more at: dallasmlkcenter.com/juneteenth.
UTD Live Juneteenth Celebration: Join the University of Texas at Dallas as they celebrate Juneteenth online via Microsoft Teams. This celebration will feature a guest performer and more Learn more on their website.
Educate yourself: Are you seeking more information about the Juneteenth holiday? Dallas Municipal Archives has resources to help give a better understanding of Dallas’ Juneteenth history.
Additionally, the Dallas Public Library has an online exhibition to celebrate the robust and complex history of South Dallas. It can be viewed online here.
Take the census: Taking the census is a way to support our racially diverse communities and contribute to the funding of programs and services that will help elevate neighborhoods for a better future. Take the census today and encourage your friends and family to do the same. www.2020census.gov
Written by Anastasia Reed