6 ways to celebrate Juneteenth 2022 in Houston area

It has been 157 years since U.S. Army General Gordon Granger announced to the people of Galveston, Texas, that slavery was over. Granger’s announcement came on June 19, 1865, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Last year, President Joe Biden signed legislation establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

While millions of Black Americans have long marked the day commemorating their freedom, other people in the United States still grapple with how to meaningfully observe the newest national holiday.

But activists say this recognition is important for everyone. “It’s not just a Black holiday,” said Alicia Austion, executive director of the Juneteenth Foundation. “It’s a national holiday, an American holiday that we all should lean in and really acknowledge and support.”

We asked activists and organizers to share different ways Americans can honor Juneteenth.

Here are five ways you can commemorate Juneteenth 2022.

1.     Attend a celebration or festivity

Among the most common ways to recognize Juneteenth are celebrations and festivities, said Ramon Manning, who is heading up the Emancipation Park celebration, which spans the entire month and includes ongoing conversations. “We were really founded on the purpose of recognizing Juneteenth,” Manning said, “but we are also really celebrating more Black excellence, Black culture, freedom overall for all people.”

Juneteenth celebrations offer a moment to reflect and acknowledge some of the major gains and accomplishments in the Black community: “It’s worth looking at this holiday as a way to say, ‘Because of that moment that we achieved freedom, all of these other things have been able to occur.’”

2.     Get involved in the community

Find out how to show up and support local Black organizations, which can have a more direct impact in the community. See who’s doing what in your city and find how you can participate, and if there’s no organization doing it, then think about creating an event. Juneteenth.com offers ideas for getting initiatives started in local communities, as well as in the workplace.

With Houstonians ready to get back outside, Juneteenth 2021 events take center stage
Attendees at a July 2018 Mo City Juneteenth celebration seen here getting their Electric Slide on. Photo by Aswad Walker.

3.     Visit a museum

Museums can help visitors establish an understanding of the history in their own community. Local history museums are extremely important because it makes the history more personal,” Austion said, because “one thing we have learned with this history is it’s very nuanced.”

For those who can’t visit a museum in person this year, a handful of Black museums and historical institutions from across the country will have virtual programming.

4.     Explore selected readings and documentaries

“Learn what Juneteenth is all about — that’s where you start,” said Cliff Robinson, who created the website Juneteenth.com about 25 years ago to offer information about national events.

“It’s just like Veterans Day and Memorial Day,” he said. “It’s a time to stop and think about the history, your own history or the history of a friend.”

Among his recommendations for seeking out this history is the work of James Baldwin, an activist and acclaimed writer who wrote about racial injustice in America. “I think James is probably one of the most prolific people you can listen to along those lines,” Robinson said. In particular, he recommends “I Am Not Your Negro,” a 2016 documentary based on Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript “Remember This House,” which examines race relations in America based on Baldwin’s personal recollections of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

  1. Buy from Black-owned businesses

What better time to show your solidarity and support of Black businesses, than using this time to support – both financially and verbally – Black businesses.

  1. Celebrate at work

This year, 2022, is likely the first time many companies will observe Juneteenth, after it became a federal holiday in 2021. Beyond giving employees the day off, companies should think about how to celebrate Juneteenth at work to demonstrate their commitment to the holiday’s history, traditions and impact. Ask your company’s leaders to talk about Juneteenth, its history and why your workplace has chosen to celebrate it. These reasons will vary from one company to another, but it’s important to voice them so that employees understand their company’s commitment to supporting the holiday.

Juneteenth around town

Houston Happenings

Emancipation Park Juneteenth celebration

Location: 3018 Emancipation Avenue 

Date: Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19

Time: 4 p.m.-10 p.m. both days

This year mark’s the 150th anniversary of Houston’s Juneteenth celebration in Emancipation Park. The two-day event will take place on Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19.

It will feature concerts with The Isley Brothers, Sheila E, Kool & The Gang and Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly and along with several gospel stars. Along with the musical lineup, they will have a kids zone, food and more.  

Mayor Turner’s Annual Acres Homes Juneteenth Parade

Location:Acres Homes Multi-Service Center, 6719 W. Montgomery 

Date:Saturday, June 18

Time:10 a.m.-noon

The parade will begin at the Acres Homes Multi-Service Center and travel north on W. Montgomery the west on Dolly Wright before ending at Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

Juneteenth Celebration at Children’s Museum Houston  

Location:Children’s Museum of Houston, 1500 Binz Street

Date: Saturday, June 18

Time:10 a.m. 

Children’s Museum of Houston will be celebrating and honoring this historic day with drumming, storytelling, dramatization, interactive activities and much more.

Markers, Murals and Mains

Location: The African-American Library at the Gregory School

Date: Saturday, June 18 and Monday, June 20

This event will take you on a tour across the Third, Fourth and Fifth Ward neighborhoods showcasing the cultural assets that exist.

Texas Southern University hosts Juneteenth: The Journey to Freedom 

Location:Miller Outdoor Theatre

Date:Sunday, June 19

Time:8:30 to 11 p.m.

A performance filled with dramatic visuals, live music, narrations and dance that tells the story of African Americans from 1865 to today and their journey to the celebration of freedom. 

Black is Primary Juneteenth Festival

Location:POST Houston, 401 Franklin Street

Date: Saturday, June 18

Time: 10 a.m. 

Black is Primary Juneteenth Festival will be an all-day, all-ages event that honors Black heritage through storytelling, cultural performances, art, lectures and food. 

The Fairytale Project

Location: Discovery Green – Anheuser-Busch Stage 

Date: Sunday, June 26

Time: 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

The “Fairytale Project” is a historically inspired tale of a young African American family re-connecting with their East Texas roots. With peculiar encounters with the past- the family cherishes the things that matter the most- family, faith, love and legacy. For more info on the free event visit https://www.discoverygreen.com/4457758

Galveston events 

Juneteenth Freedom Tours

Location: 2217 Strand Street

Date:Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19

Time:Varies

“Memory Keepers” or Tour Guides will lead Freedom Walk tours that offer an immersive experience that takes visitors on the march of freedom to the sites of emancipation where Major Gen. Gordon Granger read the historic General Order No. 3.

43rd Annual Juneteenth Proclamation Reading

Location: 2328 Broadway 

Date:Saturday, June 18

Time:10 a.m.-11 a.m.

Juneteenth Parade and Picnic 

Location:2601 Avenue H 

Date:Saturday, June 18

Time:1 p.m.-5 p.m. 

This annual historic parade celebrates the legacy of Juneteenth followed by a picnic at Wright Cuney Park. Parade Route: Starts at 26th and Avenue H and Ends at 41st and Avenue H Picnic will immediately follow.

Emancipation Celebration at The Grand 1894 Opera House

Location: 2020 Post Office Street 

Date:Saturday, June 18

Time:6 p.m.-9 p.m.

The event will honor pioneers on the national and local level who have made their mark by fighting for freedom, equality, and justice for African Americans. This recognition will be highlighted with awards, and gospel performances from local, regional, and national talent.

Juneteenth Festival

Location: 2222 28th Street 

Date: Saturday, June 18

Time: Noon-8 p.m.

The event will feature food vendors, entrepreneur showcases, the Black Artist Artwalk Exhibition, the 1st Juneteenth “Making Moves” Youth Basketball Tournament, and live entertainment.  

Visit Juneteenthhouston.org for more info

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