DENVER, CO – As efforts to make Juneteenth a national holiday continue, the people of Denver celebrate their own celebrations. Juneteenth, held annually on June 19, celebrates the end of slavery in the United States and the date many slaves in Texas finally found out they were free.
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, according to Juneteenth.com. It is “a day, a week, and in some areas a month of celebrations, guest speakers, picnics, and family gatherings”. In recent years Juneteenth has “commemorated African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement”.
Events in Denver:
R&B summer start in June – 5.30 p.m. to 10 p.m. June 18:
JMF Corporation and Live Nation are jointly hosting the Juneteenth R&B Summer Kick Off at the Levitt Pavilion. The concert is led by R&B group 112. Buy tickets here.
Juniteenth Parade – 11 a.m. June 19
Thousands of people march annually in one of Denver’s longest parades, which began in the 1950s. The parade begins at Manual High School, 26th Avenue on Williams St. and continues along 26th to Welton Street.
Two day street festival – June 19 from 12:00 to 20:00; June 20th from 2pm to 8pm
Join the festival and check out live music, entertainment, vendors, a kids’ zone, and food at Five Points, 2720 Welton St. Register for the festival and find out more here.
Five points of culture – June 19, from 10 a.m.
Head to the historic Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theater for live panels (with admission), food, drinks, and a Juneteenth Pop-Up Museum. Get your tickets here.
>> Find out more about local juneteenth events in Denver here.
Juneteenth is held on June 19 because that day in 1865 Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce that the Civil War was over and all slaves were free. Many of the slaves in Texas were unaware of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had actually given them freedom more than two years earlier.
Granger read “General Order No. 3, “which stated,” The people of Texas are informed that a proclamation by the United States Executive Branch states that all slaves are free. This implies an absolute equality of personal rights and property rights between former masters and slaves, “according to the city of Galveston, which has a historical marker for its association with the holiday.
Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard University professor and African-American historian, wrote in The Root magazine that the juneteenth “is an opportunity to gather lost family members, measure progress against freedom, and advance generations the values of self-government and to teach racial appreciation ”. . “
Most states list Juneteenth as an official holiday, although it is not a national holiday. In 1980, Texas became the first state to declare Juneteenth a public holiday. Since then, 45 other states have decided to officially recognize the day, according to the New York Times.
Juniteenth celebrations took place in most states, according to Juneteenth.com. A number of cities and municipalities held events and parades in 2015 for the 150th anniversary.
Also in the patch: What is Juneteenth? 5 things you should know about the holiday that marks the end of slavery
More and more places like Anne Arundel County, Maryland are recognizing Juniteenth as an official holiday. District offices will close on Friday, June 18 for this year’s Saturday holidays, and Annapolis will host Maryland’s first June Tenth Festival with a parade through the state capital.
“Celebrating Juniteenth as the county’s official holiday shows our county’s true commitment to freedom and equality – for all,” said Steuart Pittman, Anne Arundel’s county chairman, in a statement. “The growing national drive to adhere to Juneteenth is an important step in our journey to justice for this community in the face of centuries of racism, discrimination and inequality.”
Some big American brands – including Twitter, Nike, and the National Football League – have made the Juneteenth a paid company vacation.