Falls under the category of “Things the history books in Illinois don’t teach you about when you’re growing up”: Juneteenth is one of them.
It’s no wonder so many people dive into conspiracy theories and alternative truths when the very parent government we’re meant to trust doesn’t give us the full story. It’s an age old angry tale for another day. Right now we’re celebrating freedom!
Juneteenth is celebrated all around Austin, Texas pretty much from the beginning of June with preplanning parties and calendar invites starting in April and May.
There are no negative vibes surrounding the celebrating of this heavy topic. It’s all about the joy of freedom and the vivaciousness of living life to the fullest.
You’ll find brass bands marching and bike rides, concerts and family friendly events. This is such a great opportunity to learn about Black History on, for example, the Black History Ride. Or take a trip out to the Carver Museum, Cultural Center and Library.
So — What is Juneteenth anyway?
Juneteenth, a name which comes from the combining of “June” and “nineteenth”, refers to June 19, 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger gave an order proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas.
Many in Texas (and still to this day) didn’t recognize they lost the war or that Abraham Lincoln was president which is why this happened two an a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
Early celebrations began in 1866 in communities across Texas with it’s origins in Galveston.
But in 2021, the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act was signed into law and Juneteenth became a federal holiday.
How is your community celebrating Juneteenth? Nothing going on — Well, invite some friends and start your own celebration of freedom on this day!
What to do in Austin on Juneteenth:
Build your own: Visit Austin murals, picnic in the park, DJ some rocking tunes, read a book by a fave black author solo, or host a film fest at your house! How will you celebrate Juneteenth today?
And, if you’re already planning for next year, keep an eye on Visit Austin or check in with local news for a month’s worth of Juneteenth education and activities!