The Emancipation Proclamation was signed on 1/1/1863, freeing all slaves in the United States of America. Union soldiers marched through southern states, reading the new declaration and announcing freedom for the enslaved, according to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
However, not all Black people were immediately free in Texas, as the state was still under Confederate control at the time of the signing. On June 19, 1865, about 2,000 Union troops marched into Texas, officially freeing all Black people from slavery. This significant date is known as Juneteenth, a celebration of freedom and equality, which our governor just made an official state holiday in Illinois. Here are some events, celebrations, parades and protests happening throughout the city in honor of Juneteenth:
Do you have plans for Juneteenth weekend?
— The TRiiBE (@TheTRiiBE) June 15, 2021
Another great resource is Juneteenthillinois.com
For the second year in a row, Black-owned restaurants throughout Chicago will commemorate Juneteenth by offering food specials for either $6.19 or $16.19 this weekend.
— Chicago Tribune Food & Dining (@ChiTribFood) June 16, 2021
Tomorrow at 6 P.M., our #Juneteenth Reading Circle takes place live on Facebook/YouTube. This discussion features a variety of prominent Chicago scholars and leaders in conversation on Richard Wright's recently released novel #TheManWhoLivedUnderground. 🔗 https://t.co/NLsMEOaqeg pic.twitter.com/kATuFG71gV
— Chicago Public Library (@chipublib) June 16, 2021
Dwight White to Celebrate Black Chicago Creators With Limited-Time Art Exhibition Kicking Off On Juneteenthhttps://t.co/1fUvq2jmX2
— BWW Chicago (@BWW_Chicago) June 16, 2021
The Chicago History Museum is celebrating Juneteenth on Saturday with free admission and a day’s worth of virtual programs. The museum at 1601 N. Clark St. will have free admission Saturday, when it will be open 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, 212 N. Sixth St., Springfield: A rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Lincoln is on display through July 6. Admission: adults $15, kids 5-15 $6; presidentlincoln.illinois.gov.
A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum, 10406 S. Maryland and 1900 W. Jackson: The ninth annual Juneteenth celebration kicks off at Malcolm X College. The Friday slate includes a caravan parade route outlining the Great Migration trail to the Pullman Porter Museum and a panel discussion. The Saturday slate, which takes place at the museum, includes music and vendors. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 2-9 p.m. Saturday. The event is free; facebook.com/events.
Juneteenth Jazz Celebration, New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, 4301 W. Washington Blvd., 2 p.m. June 19: honoring historian and educator Haki R. Madhubuti with a performance by Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few. Free; register for tickets at eventbrite.com.
Beverly/Morgan Park Juneteenth family festival and Black business crawl, 11000 S. Longwood Dr. and 2407 W. 111th St. (Beverly Arts Center): The event includes storytelling, art, drumming circles, food, and activities for kids, along with featured promotion of Black-owned businesses, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and noon to 3 p.m (BAC location), June 19. The event is free; facebook.com/events.
CMPI Juneteenth Celebration, online: The Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative will host a virtual celebration of diversity in classical music coinciding with Juneteenth. The slate of performers will include composer Xavier Foley and bassist Joseph Conyers, 6:45 p.m. June 19. The event is free; app.mobilecause.com.
Eden Place Nature Center, 4417 S. Stewart: The Fuller Park venue will host a Father’s Day Juneteenth celebration, The picnic outing includes storytelling, and music from the 64th Street Drummers and the Nancy Green Team Performers, 1-3 p.m. June 20. The event is free; edenplacenaturecenter.org
Evanston’s Juneteenth Parade, 1801 Main, Evanston: This year’s parade, which has the theme “A journey towards real reparations,” kicks off at the Robert Crown Center and proceeds north on Dodge Avenue to Simpson Street, east on Simpson Street to the Morton Civic Center. 11 a.m. June 19. The event is free; cityofevanston.org.
‘Fred!,’ online: The SPAA (Speakers Publishers & Authors Association) Theater & Performing Arts Center will host “Fred!” a virtual musical celebrating the life and times of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, 7 p.m. June 19. $10 cover charge; eventbrite.com.
Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago Area and Northwest Indiana, Walgreens, 3405 S. King Dr.: The scouts are hosting a Chicago Neighborhood Walk in Bronzeville. The event will include a walk along the Bronzeville Hall of Fame along with food and snacks. 10 a.m. to noon. June 19. $2 cover charge. Internet registration ends June 16; activecommunities.com.
Harold Washington Cultural Center, 2701 S. Martin Luther King Dr.: The center partners with M.A.D.D. Rhythms and Bronzeville businesses for an in-person Juneteenth celebration including dance, DJ and live music, food, workshops, raffles, art and children’s activities. 1 p.m. June 19. Admission is free. Visit maddrhythms.com.
Jerk 48, 611 E. 67th: The jerk eats restaurant is hosting a block party with free food, a bounce house, giveaways and games, along with music provided by Chosen Few DJs member Wayne Williams. 2-5 p.m. June 19. The event is free; instagram.com/jerk_48.
Juneteenth BBQ & Ride, Ellis Park, 3520 S. Cottage Grove: Streets Calling Bike Club’s celebration kicks off with a bike ride that ends at Mandrake Park, 3858 S. Cottage Grove, where a march, a barbecue, music, food, and games will take place. 11:30 a.m. June 19. The event is free; instagram.com/p/CQI8wPGtx4L.
Juneteenth yoga class, 1618 E. 53rd: A Black-owned studio, YogaSix, is offering a Juneteenth yoga class. All proceeds will go to a social justice nonprofit or the DuSable Museum of African American History, 10 a.m. June 20. Suggested $10 donation; yogasix.com.
Juneteenth West Fest The three-day Juneteenth “Freedom Day” West Fest will come to Columbus Park, 500 S. Central Ave., Friday to Sunday. The event will include entertainment, vendors and games, organizers said. Friday will be dedicated to a Youth Rally, while Saturday is Family and Women’s Health Day and Sunday is Fathers and their Families Day.
Dr. Charles R. Drew Blood Drive An annual blood drive, hosted by the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, will take place Thursday 1 to 6 p.m. at Malcom X College, 1900 W. Jackson Blvd.
Governors State University Juneteenth Celebration In Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, situated in University Park, Governor’s State University will celebrate Juneteenth on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. The outdoor celebration at 1 University Dr. will feature sculptures that reflect African American legacies, organizers said, as well as musical performances and poetry.
Juneteenth Horse Race at Hawthorne Racetrack in Stickney is paying tribute to Juneteenth this year by holding a special horse race involving the tracks’ Black horsemen, officials said.
A Mind Is Gala from UNCF will hold its 21st anniversary fundraiser on Saturday at 6 p.m. with NBC 5’s Stefan Holt, who will speak on the significance of the holiday. Tickets for the virtual weekend event, featuring special guest actor Samuel L. Jackson, cost $250 per person. Register here.
Juneteenth Illinois Speakers, March For Us Following up to the March For Us Saturday from 701 S. State St. to 50 W. Washington St., Juneteenth Illinois has been hosting speakers throughout the week on topics such as culture, justice, education, health and economics. The speakers and events Thursday and Friday will be hosted in-person at Chicago’s Malcom X College, located at 1900 W. Jackson Blvd.
1865 Fest in Garfield Park The 1865 Fest to celebrate Juneteenth will take place Saturday and Sunday in Garfield Park. The festival will include live music, dance competitions, and family activity, according to organizers.