Annually throughout Dallas and the nation, we pause to celebrate Juneteenth. According to Juneteenth.com, this is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with the news the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, which was official January 1, 1863.
With each passing year, the meaning behind Juneteenth slips further into the background. However, organizations and churches across the DFW area seek to keep the holiday in the forefront of the minds of youth and future generations. Below are a few events scheduled to celebrate the date African-Americans in Texas learned they were no longer slaves, three years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President.
MLK Center Celebration
Visitors are invited to attend the City of Dallas Annual Juneteenth Festival, a fun-filled family event from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, June 19 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, located at 2922 MLK Boulevard. This is a free event featuring local vendors, live entertainment, food, arts & crafts, games, and more. All children’s food and activities are free. All media outlets are invited to attend.
What is Juneteenth? Juneteenth marks the anniversary of when Texas slaves learned they had been emancipated back in 1865. This festival is an important event that brings the Dallas community together in an effort to commemorate this important moment in our nation’s history.
For more information please visit www.dallasmlkcenter.com/juneteenth.
Best Southwest Juneteenth Celebration
The City of Lancaster and the Best Southwest cities join together for celebrating Juneteenth. This event will be rejoicing freedom through diversity and honoring the oldest known celebration for the ending of slavery. activities will include food vendors, a variety of art by local artists, crafts, musical performances and much more. The Best Southwest area which includes DeSoto, Duncanville, Cedar Hill and Lancaster is so named because of the cities’ ability to work together on projects that benefit Southern Dallas County.
The fun begins at 5 p.m. on June 17 at the Lancaster Community Park located at 1700 Veterans Memorial Park in Lancaster. More info here.
Elm Thicket/North Park Juneteenth Celebration
Annually the historically African American neighborhood on the edge of Highland Park known as Elm Thicket/North Park hosts a neighborhood parade to kick off their Juneteenth celebration. The parade will begin at the K. B. Polk Recreation Center, and wind it’s way through the neighborhood past KB Polk Elementary School before returning to the recreational center, where additional activities including a BBQ cookoff will be held. The celebration begins at 9 a.m.