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Juneteenth

Juneteenth celebrations across Texas 2020

Juneteenth falls at an especially crucial moment in the fight for freedom and justice for Black Americans.

June 19, or Juneteenth, marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and the enslaved were now free.

An estimated 250,000 slaves residing in Texas were informed of their freedom. This news came two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Because there was a minimal number of Union troops in Texas to enforce Lincoln’s Executive Order, it wasn’t until the surrender of General Lee and the arrival of General Gordon Granger’s regiment that slaves were finally set free in Texas.

Many Texans embrace Juneteenth as a time to honor Black heritage with events across the state, though as Slate puts it, "it's difficult to celebrate freedom when your life is defined by oppression on all sides."

This year, Juneteenth falls at an especially critical moment as people across the country protest and call for an end to police brutality against Black Americans. Juneteenth isn’t just a celebration of emancipation, but it’s also a reminder that America has a lot of work to do to ensure that all people have equitable access to resources and the ability to live their lives freely. From reparations, to guaranteeing freedoms, to defunding the police and reinvesting in community, we can and must continue to make progress.

We must continue to demand justice and accountability until the freedom that Juneteenth is meant to celebrate is no longer tainted by the continued oppression of Black folks by the systems that exist in our society. 

Here are ways to celebrate Juneteenth across Texas:

Austin Area

June 18 - ARA Juneteenth Virtual Art Show

June 19 - Juneteenth 2020: Growing Your Roots During a Global Pandemic

June 19 - Juneteenth 2020: Stay Black and Live

June 26 - 7th Annual Steppers Juneteenth Celebration & Gala 2020

DFW Area

June 15-19 - Juneteenth Celebration - A Virtual Experience (DeSoto)

June 18-20 - 2020 Juneteenth Live Streaming Music Festival

June 19 - 2020 MLK Juneteenth Drive-Thru Celebration

June 19 - Juneteenth Fort Worth - Opal’s Walk to Washington D.C. Caravan

June 20 - Juneteenth Freedom Celebration

June 20 - Juneteenth the Stage Play

Houston Area

June 19 - Juneteenth 2020 Observance

June 19 - Juneteenth: Enslavement and Abolition, Then and Now

June 2-19 - We Are Juneteenth Virtual Campaign

Rio Grande Valley

June 15-19 - Juneteenth Jubilee

San Antonio Area

June 19 - 2020 Texas Freedom Festival: Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration (NOTE: This event has been postponed for a later date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)

Editorial Note: Progress Texas is not an organizer of these events. If you have more Juneteenth events or celebrations you would like to add to the list, please send them my way: wesley@progresstexas.org.