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.

  • Emagine Royal Oak

    Emagine Entertainment is set to host the Juneteenth Film Festival at Emagine Royal Oak, dedicated to celebrating Black actors/actresses, writers, directors, and filmmakers. The festival will showcase impactful films that present compelling stories and educational content focused on racism and Black history. By attending this event, not only will you have the opportunity to enjoy thought-provoking cinema, but your contribution will also make a difference. The net proceeds from the festival will go towards supporting the United Negro College Fund. Attendees can enjoy this event for $5 until June 29.

    Young couple watching a film at the cinema

  • Wayne State University

    Wayne State University has exciting plans in store to commemorate Juneteenth with a series of engaging campus events. The lineup will feature an art exhibition, thought-provoking panel discussions, and a captivating keynote address by Professor Ronald Williams II, a renowned expert in African American studies from the University of North Carolina. Additionally, attendees will be treated to a  performance by the neo-classical pianist BLKBOK at the Willis Show Bar at 7:30 p.m. on June 20. For more details about their events, visit to learn more about these Juneteenth celebrations.
    Young happy people laughing together - Multiracial friends group having fun on city street - Diverse culture students portrait celebrating outside - Friendship, community, youth, university concept

  • Oakland County Parks and Recreation

    In honor of Juneteenth, Oakland County Parks and Recreation is hosting a Free Entry Day on June 19. They will allow visitors to enjoy complimentary access to various parks. Experience the beauty of nature and explore the trails, dog parks, playgrounds, and beaches at several locations. Take advantage of this special occasion to visit parks such as Addison Oaks County Park, Groveland Oaks County Park, Highland Oaks County Park, Independence Oaks County Park, Lyon Oaks County Park, Lyon Oaks Dog Park, Orion Oaks County Park, Orion Oaks Dog Park, Red Oaks Dog Park, and Rose Oaks County Park. Embrace the spirit of Juneteenth and make the most of this offer to engage with nature and enjoy the amenities provided by Oakland County Parks and Recreation.
    Children playing in the water park. Children in holiday.

  • Madison Heights Juneteenth Food Truck Rally

    The Madison Heights Juneteenth Food Truck Rally, an exciting event that will showcase a  lineup of African American-owned food trucks, live music, and a wide array of vendors. This family-friendly gathering will also offer educational exhibits, a  petting zoo, pony rides, a  25-foot climbing tower, and bounce houses. The event is happening on June 17 from noon to 6 p.m. at Civic Center Park, located at 360 W. 13 Mile in Madison Heights. Admission to this event is free, and there is ample free parking available as well.

    Young african man eating in food truck counter outdoor in city park - Focus on face

  • Juneteenth Jubilee Stroll Detroit

    Join in the festivities of the Juneteenth Jubilee Stroll along the Livernois Historic Avenue of Fashion, located between 6 and 8 Mile roads. This event will offer exclusive discounts, entertaining performances, an HBCU tailgate featuring a Greek stroll off competition, and the unveiling of a  mural. As a registered attendee, you’ll receive a complimentary tote bag and map card to help you navigate the stroll. Plus, if you’re among the first 50 participants to complete the stroll, you’ll be eligible for a prize. Make sure to check-in at 19474 Livernois in Detroit to kick off the festivities. The Juneteenth Jubilee Stroll will take place on June 17 from noon to 6 p.m., ensuring a day filled with fun and celebration.

    a lot of people in the evening in the autumn park. concert, meeting, protest action.

  • Freedom Day Pontiac

    Celebrate Juneteenth, the Freedom Day Event, in the vibrant downtown area of Pontiac, Michigan. This exciting occasion will include various activities, delicious food, captivating entertainment, and a breathtaking fireworks display. The festivities kick off with a lively celebration on Bagley Street on June 17 from noon to 4 p.m., featuring engaging activities, historical exhibits, and storytelling. Following that, a spirited parade will march from Bagley to downtown Pontiac from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., showcasing the community’s unity and joyous spirit. Once in downtown, the fun continues with a range of activities planned from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and a fireworks show. Join in the Juneteenth celebrations and experience the spirit of freedom and togetherness in downtown Pontiac.

    Green Firework celebrate anniversary happy new year 2023, 4th of july holiday festival. Green firework in night time celebrate national holiday. Countdown to new year 2023 festival party time event

  • Jazz and Blues Concert Southfield

    Join us for the Juneteenth Jazz and Blues Concert, a delightful outdoor musical event presented by The Friends of the Southfield Public Library. This free concert will showcase the talent of African American artist Gwen Pennyman-Hemphill. The show will take place against the backdrop of the Southfield Public Library. Mark your calendars for the concert, which will take place on June 21 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It’s an opportunity to celebrate Juneteenth through the power of music and support local artists.
    Fingers of african american man in black suit play piano.

  • Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

    The Juneteenth Jubilee and Member Appreciation Day takes place at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. This special event is a celebration of freedom and an opportunity to show appreciation for museum members. The festivities will feature an array of  experiences, including food trucks, live performances, engaging storytelling sessions, pony rides, and even hustle lessons. The event will take place on June 19 from noon to 6 p.m. at the museum’s location at 315 E. Warren in Detroit.

    Saxophone player and singer performing jazz in nightclub

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