Most Americans acknowledge July 4th as the day to celebrate liberty. But, there are actually two celebrations of freedom in the United States, and one of them is this Friday.

Juneteenth is a day that many Black Americans observe that is sure to gain even more attention in the shadow of George Floyd’s and other deaths due to racism and police brutality. Here’s what you need to know about the holiday and how you can celebrate locally. 

What is Juneteenth? 

Juneteenth—celebrated every Jun 19th—marks the day that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that enslaved Black Americans were free—two-and-a-half years after Pres. Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

It’s the oldest national commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States.   

The day’s activities range from sports and barbeques to prayers and educational programs, according to the National Registry of Juneteenth Organizations and Supporters.  

In Birmingham, there are several ways to celebrate the holiday.  

June 19th List of events: 

4 p.m. Juneteenth Celebration Picnic, Patton Park 

More info here.

4-8 p.m. Juneteenth Pop Up, 4th Avenue Business District 

More info here.  

5 p.m. Women’s March, Legion Field  

5-9 p.m. Simone’s Kitchen ATL Food Truck Grand Opening/Food Truck Fridays, 521 3rd Avenue West 

More info here

5-10 p.m. Party, Downtown Ensley Business District  

7 p.m. Dr. Angela Y. Davis honored with Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award, online 

Register here.  

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