Preparations are underway in Metro Detroit as the community is getting ready to celebrate the upcoming 158th anniversary of Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day. Juneteenth is a special day in the U.S. when we celebrate the freedom of enslaved African Americans. It all started on June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and made the big announcement that slavery was over. It happened more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
Juneteenth is all about acknowledging the end of slavery and recognizing the strength and contributions of African Americans. Nowadays, it’s a day of celebration, reflection, and coming together to honor the fight for equality.
On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, officially designating the day as a federal holiday.
In a recent development, the Michigan House voted, with a 105-4 majority, to pass a bill designating June 19, commonly known as Juneteenth, as an official state holiday. This decision will entail the closure of government offices and courts on that day or the following Monday if Juneteenth falls on a Sunday. With at least 28 states and the federal government already recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday, Connecticut, Minnesota, Nevada, and Tennessee have joined the list this year by making it a public holiday at the state level.
Celebrate Juneteenth in Metro Detroit
This significant move sets the stage for Juneteenth celebrations throughout southeast Michigan, featuring a vibrant lineup of live music, engaging films, delicious food, and meaningful opportunities to support Black-owned businesses.