This Saturday, June 19, we recognize Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, to celebrate the emancipation of people who were enslaved in the United States. We recognize, honor, and celebrate Juneteenth while continuing to fight for justice, equity, and liberation for Black communities.
Juneteenth marks the last announcements of freedom for more than 250,000 people who were enslaved in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865—nearly two years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth continues to emphasize freedom and achievement while celebrating a liberated Black body and identity.
The first celebration started in 1866 when newly freed African Americans commemorated freedom with food, singing, and the reading of spirituals. More than 150 years later, Juneteenth celebrations continue to take place each year across the country. In 2019, thousands of people celebrated the holiday in Houston’s Emancipation Park, the piece of land originally bought by a group of formerly enslaved Black Americans.
Yesterday, the U.S. Congress voted to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday. Learn more about Juneteenth from the National Museum of African American History & Culture, HISTORY, and Vox
Starting this year, Juneteenth is being recognized as an official Adler University holiday for the Chicago and Online campuses. The week-day observation for Juneteenth falls on Friday, June 18 this year. No Chicago or Online classes will be held on this day.
Observing Juneteenth as an official holiday is one step in helping to reform our cultural memory and address the ongoing need to explicitly recognize the relationships between the history of enslavement, the emergence of white supremacy, and the institutional barriers presently facing Black Americans.
Learn, Reflect, and Celebrate
- So, You Want to Learn About Juneteenth
- The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth
- Illinois House and Senate Approve Bill to Make Juneteenth a State Holiday
- Juneteenth 2021 Guide for Chicago Families
- Is Juneteenth for Everybody?
- Governor’s State University Juneteenth Celebration – 1 to 4pm in Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park within University Park
- Annual Juneteenth Celebration – 2 to 9pm at National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum, 10406 South Maryland Avenue, and streamed live
- Juneteenth West Fest – Three-day Juneteenth “Freedom Day” West Fest from June 18 to 20 at Columbus Park, 500 S. Central Ave.
- DuSable Museum of African American History of Grand Reopening and Welcome Back Ceremony – 11am, 740 East 56th Place
- Juneteenth Illinois – Week-long celebration and events
- Evanston’s Annual Juneteenth Parade and Celebration – 11am, Levy Center, 300 Dodge Ave., to the Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave. Additional Festivities held at 2:30pm at Twiggs Park, 1901 Simpson St.
- More Juneteenth Events in the Chicago Area
- Online Juneteenth Events
The Transcendence and Liberation Now! playlist was created by the Diversity & Inclusion committee in 2020. This playlist unfolds in multiple phases: Rebuilding and Liberation, Celebration and Connection, Aspiration, and a New World. Created with musical requests from members of our community, the Chicago Diversity and Inclusion Committee created it in hopes to provide a healing moment during traumatic times and to honor and recognize Black liberation and freedom amidst the painful reminders of the work that still awaits our labor. We invite you to listen, reflect, and become more sensitized to Black visibility, representation, and celebration.