Juneteenth is an annual holiday that celebrates the emancipation of African Americans who were enslaved in the United States. It commemorates the arrival of Union troops to Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, to announce the end of slavery – two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. In 2020, both New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson formally acknowledged Juneteenth as a State and City holiday. In 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law a bill establishing Juneteenth National Independence Day as a federal holiday.
In 2020, in honor of the 155th Juneteenth, we compiled a list of events and educational resources for those who wish to learn more about and commemorate this celebration of African American freedom. We will continue to update this list annually.
As a new offering for this year, local artist, storyteller, and playwright, Pamila Badila of Diata Diata International Folkloric Theatre, recorded a reading of two stories for children of all ages to enjoy in celebration of Juneteenth.
Hudson’s 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration (UPDATE: this event will be held on the rain date of Sunday, June 20) – a day-long, in-person event held on Saturday, June 19 (rain date, Sunday, June 20) at the Henry Hudson Riverfront Park in Hudson celebrating this important holiday and our black community.
#blkfreedom – a virtual commemorative program in honor of Juneteenth, offered in collaboration between America’s Black Holocaust Museum, Amistad Research Center, August Wilson Center for African American Culture, California African American Museum, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, National Civil Rights Museum, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and the Northwest African American Museum.
Schomburg Center Literary Festival: Virtual Edition – a virtual festival taking place over six days with featured authors and books exploring concepts of freedom.
Juneteenth: A Celebration of Resistance – videos and articles discussing the history, significance, and celebration of Juneteenth, from The National Museum of African American History & Culture
Teaching Juneteenth – an educational resource for parents, educators, and other youth-service providers on teaching young people about the hard history surrounding Juneteenth while also empowering them to be advocates for change. From Teaching Tolerance, a project of The Southern Poverty Law Center.
“The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” – a famous speech by Frederick Douglass about the paradox of July 4 as Independence Day during slavery; Juneteenth is also known as Black Independence Day.
Explore Juneteenth through our physical and digital collections and online resources. Click here to see what is available through our online catalog.