Stock photo courtesy of Pexels
By: Nayanna Hollins
This week, President Joe Biden signed into law that Juneteenth is officially now a federal holiday. Juneteenth–also known as “Jubilee Day”, “Liberation Day”, and “Emancipation Day”–celebrates the enslaved people in Galveston, Texas finally being read their notice of emancipation. Abraham Lilcoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, but the message did not
reach everyone until 1865 — two years after the proclamation and two months after the end of
the Civil War.
Juneteenth marks the moment that all Black American’s knew they were free, and has been celebrated as an Independence Day ever since. Last year, Governor Gretchen Whitmer made Juneteenth an official holiday for the State of Michigan, but there were
still a small minority of states who refused to recognize it. With the passing of this law, the entire nation has a chance to learn a little more about Black history, and celebrate freedom for all.
For those in the Metro Detroit Area, here are a few events to celebrate Juneteenth:
Juneteenth Film Festival
June 11 – June 19
To celebrate freedom, Emagine Theatres is hosting special showings of Black movies
for Juneteenth. Films like Judas and the Black Messiah and One Night in Miami… will
be shown in commemoration of Jubilee Day. See Emagine Theatre’s website for more
U-M 2021 Juneteenth Symposium
June 14 – June 18
Through a partnership with Ann Arbor’s branch of the NAACP, the University of
Michigan is offering 5 days of Juneteenth celebrations. This year’s theme is“Celebrating Black Joy, Hope, and Culture” and all events will be streamed virtually
through the Rackham Graduate School’s Website.
Juneteenth Black Business Crawl
June 16 – 20
1234 Washington Blvd., Detroit,
Celebrate Juneteenth by supporting Black-Owned businesses. In addition to finding new
products to buy, the Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance will also hold a scavenger
hunt with prizes for participants. Visit the MDBBA’s social media accounts for more
Juneteenth Jubilee Freedom Weekend
June 17 – 20
Charles H. Wright Museum, Detroit, MI
Detroit’s African American History Museum celebrates education, economic
independence, and engagement through online and in-person exhibits.
WCTF 2021 Juneteenth Celebration
June 18th, 8:30 AM – 1:20 PM
Join the University of Michigan’s Women of Color Task Force for a series of virtual
conferences. In addition to celebrating Juneteenth, guests will discuss how to improve
race relations and promote unity.
The Melanated Mixer
June 18th, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Detroit Shipping Company, Detroit, MI
Join the Detroit Poetry Society for a night of poetry, food, and music. There will be a
poetry workshop and spoken word performances from a plethora of talented Black
writers. Tickets are $10.
Juneteenth Family Reunion
June 19, 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Catalpa Oaks, Southfield
Get together and celebrate freedom with a fun day at the park. This event offers
vendors, food trucks, live entertainment, playground access, giveaways and more. CDC
Guidelines will be followed.
Juneteenth Mobility Stroll & Roll Celebration
June 19, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Historic City Hall Park, Dearborn
The East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority is holding a walk to celebrate the
journey to emancipation. The event is free, socially distanced, and family friendly. In
addition to the “Stroll & Roll” there will also be arts and crafts for participants of all ages.
Detroit Black Public Art Tour
June 19, 1:00 PMCharles H. Wright Museum, Detroit
View beautiful monuments and murals by Tanya Stevens and ride through Detroit to
support Black artists around the city.
June 19, 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
5555 Conner St., Detroit
Celebrate Black joy with a family fun day and cookout. This event is outdoors and
Juneteenth on the Blacktop
June 19, 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Detroit Association of Black Organizations, Detroit
Bring the entire family for this free, fun event. There will be craft making, dancing, and
Juneteenth Freedom Celebration & Brake Light Clinic
June 19, 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
8 Mile and Dequindre, Detroit
To continue preserving the freedom of Black Americans, MI Liberation is hosting a
Brake Light Clinic to install new brake lights in cars for free. Black people across the
nation are 20% more likely to be pulled over by police compared than their whitecounterparts. By fixing brake lights, this clinic offers a chance to help maintain Black
freedom by preventing potentially deadly interactions with officers