Juneteenth celebrations across Texas in 2023
At the White House Juneteenth celebration this week, Opal Lee, the “Grandmother of Juneteenth” delivered a message for America’s young people (which she considers anyone younger than her 96 years):
“Make yourself a committee of one to change someone’s mind. If people can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love. It’s up to you to do it. We are the most powerful country in the United States and we must get together and get rid of the disparities—the joblessness, the homelessness, health care that some people can get and others can’t and climate change that we are responsible for. If we don’t all do something about it, we’re going to hell in a handbasket.”
President Biden used the White House Juneteenth celebration of community, culture, and music to urge Americans to choose love over hate, and condemn racism that’s come roaring back. Congress created and President Biden signed legislation which made Juneteenth a federal holiday just two years ago in June 2021.
Texans have officially recognized Juneteenth since 1980, commemorating the freedom of Black Americans who had been enslaved in Texas years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
Below we’ve compiled a lineup of Juneteenth events happening across the state. While there are plenty of parades, festivals, and markets, this list is in no way comprehensive. Make sure to check out local event listings to see what’s happening near you!
Austin/Central Texas Area
- June 16 - Travis County’s 34th Annual Juneteenth Celebration
- June 17 - Juneteenth Central Texas Parade
- June 17 - Austin Area Urban League Freedom Fest
- June 17 - Round Rock Juneteenth Fest
- June 17 - Taylor Juneteenth Freedom Festival
- June 18 - Austin Black History Bike Ride: Juneteenth Social Ride
- June 23 & June 24 - Black Mamas ATX 2023 Summit: Birthing Black Community
- June 24 - Austin African American Book Festival
- June 13-19 Dallas African American Museum exhibitions and events
- June 16 - Dallas Southern Pride Unity Weekend
- June 17 - Garland Juneteenth Celebration
- June 17 - “Soul of Sycamore” Juneteenth Parade of Freedom
- June 18 - Inaugural Juneteenth on Main Block Party in Deep Ellum
- June 19 - Opal Lee’s official Walk for Freedom
- June 24 - Fort Worth Art Cult Polyphonic Featuring S-Ankh Rasa and Mo' Music
- June 17 - Juneteenth at Nations Tobin Park
- June 17 - Juneteenth Cultural Celebration
- June 17 - Juneteenth at El Paso Museum of History
- June 18 - Galveston Symphony Celebrates Juneteenth
- June 19 - 44th Annual Al Edwards Juneteenth Celebration
- June 16 - Juneteenth Kids Fun Fest
- June 17 - Juneteenth Freedom Run/Walk & Music Festival
- June 17 - Mayor Turner's Annual Acres Homes Juneteenth Parade
- June 17 - A Juneteenth Journey Through Fort Bend County
- June 18 - Blck Market Houston
San Antonio Area
- June 15 Black History Film Series— ''I Am Not Your Negro’
- June 16 & 17 - Juneteenth Festival
- June 17 - Juneteenth Health Fair
- June 17 - Juneteenth Freedom Coalition of San Antonio Parade
As we heard during our recent Juneteenth focused podcast featuring Don Payton, one of Texas' preeminent Black historians and a member of the special state committee that originally elevated Juneteenth to state holiday status, Juneteenth is about freedom.
The following organizations are answering the Juneteenth call to action for freedom by working for racial justice.
Ongoing Racial Justice Resource Organizations and Advocacy Groups
If you want to get (more) involved in the racial justice movement, there are many options.
Black Lives Matter
The Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013 in response to the death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of the man who killed him. The organization relies on local outreach and activism to bring awareness to acts of violence and discrimination against black people.
Color of Change
Color of Change is an online racial justice organization with seven million members worldwide. With a widespread focus encompassing culture, criminal justice, politics, and economics, Color of Change seeks to expand voter access, ensure equitable treatment, and promote diverse representations of the black community. Members have the opportunity to create and recommend campaigns related to racial justice and equity.
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) is a legal organization and law firm based in Washington, DC. Members of the LDF seek changes to the structure and policies of the American criminal justice system in an attempt to build a safer, more equitable society for people of color. In addition to its efforts in the criminal justice system, the LDF also pursues economic justice, works to protect voting rights, and strives to improve educational equity.
ACLU Racial Justice Program
As part of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU Racial Justice Program (RJP) uses legal processes, grassroots activism, and public education to fight against all forms of racism. The RJP’s efforts target dangerous and harmful discriminatory practices in policing, housing, education, and education. The ACLU also often files lawsuits in an attempt to protect the rights of people of color.
Editorial Note: Progress Texas is not an organizer of the listed events. If you have more Juneteenth events or celebrations you would like to add to the list, please send them our way: email@example.com.
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