Celebrate Juneteenth!

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 State and the City of Hudson 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.

Below we have 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.

Also, check out these recordings of stories for children of all ages to enjoy in celebration of Juneteenth as shared by local artist, storyteller, and playwright, Pamila Badila of Diata Diata International Folkloric Theatre.

Juneteenth Stories with Ma Badila

Local Events

Who We Be! A Celebration of Black Life in Columbia County: Through the Cosmic Womb at Lightforms Art Center (743 Columbia Street, Hudson) – an evolving, immersive exhibit, activated with community through June 30. Gallery hours are Fridays 3-8pm, and Saturdays and Sundays 2-6pm.

POSTPONED (NEW DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED): Hudson’s 4th Annual Juneteenth Celebration at Front and Warren Streets – a celebration with music, vendors, arts/crafts/games, cultural displays, Alan Skerrett community memorial, wellness activities, open mic, HCHC Books & BBQ, plant walk, performances, conversations, and more! (Saturday, June 17, 12pm-9pm). For more info, email whowebe518@gmail.com.


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.