Juneteenth celebrations across Texas in 2023

Juneteenth 2023
A celebration and call to action

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!

Juneteenth events
Austin/Central Texas Area

DFW Area

El Paso


Houston Area

San Antonio Area

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: gonzalez@progresstexas.org.


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