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

Library Events

BLACC Exhibition: A Dialogue Across Generations: Making Connections through the BLACC Collection on display in the Hudson Area Library Community Room through June, when the room is not in use for programming. Delve into the cultural, familial, economic, social, and religious history of Black people in the county through our exhibition of the 1980s Black Legacy Association of Columbia County (BLACC) Oral History Project collection. Curated by Tanya Jackson, in collaboration with the Hudson Area Library History Room team, this exhibition is an effort to bridge historical knowledge gaps and foster a more inclusive community narrative. For more information about the BLACC collection, click here.

Who’s Behind Black Art: A Screening and Talk with Writer/Director John Campbell: Saturday, June 29 1:30-2:30pm in the Hudson Area Library Community Room. Join Director, Writer and Producer John Campbell as he explores the lives of five young Black emerging artists from Good Black Art in this first-look screening and discussion of the new docu-series, Who’s Behind Black Art. Interviews with each artist against a backdrop of their work will illuminate their family history, community, influences, mentors, education, support systems, their battles and triumphs, as well as candid experiences with racism in the industry and in America. To learn more about the artists, and to watch a trailer, click here. Registration appreciated. Contact programs@hudsonarealibrary.org or call 518-828-1792 x101.

Local Events

Local Black History Exhibit: June 14-July 14 at Lightforms Art Center, 743 Columbia Street, Hudson, NY. For more information, email whowebe518@gmail.com.

PS21’s PATHWAYS Community Activation Workshop with The Legendary Ingramettes: Sunday, June 16, following 11am church service, at Shiloh Baptist Church, 14 Warren Street, Hudson, NY. As part of the Juneteenth Celebration, The Legendary Ingramettes will perform a short concert and hold a discussion about the history of gospel music. For more information, click here.

PS21’s Juneteenth Celebration with The Legendary Ingramettes: Sunday, June 16, 6-7pm at PS21 Center for Contemporary Performance, 2980 NY-66, Chatham, NY. For more info, including free bus transportation to and from PS21 from Hudson, click here.

Freedom Torch Lighting: Libation and Candle Vigil: Wednesday, June 19, 5:30-8:30pm at Lightforms Art Center, 743 Columbia Street, Hudson, NY. For more information, email whowebe518@gmail.com.

Columbia County’s Annual Juneteenth Memorial and Celebration: Wednesday, June 19 at 11:30am at Rothermel Park in Kinderhook. The day’s events will begin with songs of gathering under the Pavilion followed by a procession from the park to the sacred site known as the Colored People’s Burial Grounds where an estimated 500 enslaved and newly freed “colored” people are buried. A family style cook-out will follow the sacred site memorial event with special guest speaker, Paul Stewart, historian and co-founder of the Underground Railroad Education Center in Albany. Field games, table activities for children and recognition of the 2024 graduating class are part of the day’s celebration. This event is sponsored by God Belongs in our County, a diverse Coalition of Pastors, Ministers and Lay Leaders

Block Party: Saturday, June 29, 12-9pm on Warren Street, Hudson between Front and 1st Streets. This event will include wellness lounges, games, a kid zone, food, vendors, performances, and more. For more information, 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.