Though Juneteenth Independence Day is not a nationally recognized holiday, it is observed in many states and it holds a special place in the hearts of Texans. June 19, 1865, marks the date enslaved African Americans in Galveston learned they were free two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
If you’re wondering how to best celebrate Juneteenth, we’ve got a list of six events happening right here in Houston and Galveston.
Juneteenth: Four Galveston Women
Join the Nia Cultural Center and celebrate four African American women from Galveston, Texas who have left a lasting legacy. The event features re-enactments of the lives and contributions of Maud Cuney-Hare (1874 – 1936), Jessie Mc Guire Dent (1891 – 1948), Albertine Hal l Yeager (1897 – 1969), and Izola Fedford Collins (1929 – 2017).
Juneteenth Historical Bike Tour
This is for all my active bikers. Letsdothishouston and 3rd Ward Tours present the Historical Juneteenth Bike Ride with Freedmen’s Town Bike Tours. Explore the earliest settlements of African Americans in Houston with tours of Freedmen’s Town and the Greater Third Ward Area. Get your tickets here.
Juneteenth Weekend Fun: The Heritage Society
If you’re a history buff, this event is for you. Tour three historical African American houses: the Jack Yates House, the Kellum-Noble House, and the Fourth Ward Cottage all located in the Sam Houston Houston Park. Refreshments are included, don’t miss this tour! Get more information here.
Juneteenth Legacy Project
Join the Juneteenth Heritage Project for a series of events happening on Juneteenth. From the Juneteenth Parade and Festival to the dedication of a public art installation, there’s something for everybody at the Juneteenth Heritage Project. Get more information here.
Juneteenth Black Art Exhibit
If you’re a lover of Black art, the Prime Art Gallery has something for you. Join the gallery on Juneteenth for their opening day of the Black art exhibit. Get your tickets here.
BLCK Market Houston: Juneteenth Celebration
This is your chance to support small Black businesses. The market is dedicated to the Black American experience and showcases quality brands and products to tens of thousands of people. Click here for more information.
Houston Museum of African American Culture
The HMAAC is brimming with Juneteenth events and activities for the entire family to enjoy.
HMAAC Freedom Pop Up Market
Get your bank accounts ready for this indoor and outdoor pop-up market featuring Black businesses, live painting, art, and music. It’s an event you don’t want to miss.
Miss Juneteenth and Doretha’s Blues screenings
In the mood for a film night? The HMAAX is presenting two films by director and producer Channing Godfrey Peoples. Miss Juneteenth tells the story of a single mother and former Miss Juneteenth who struggles to persuade her teenage daughter to continue the legacy. Doretha’s Blues follows Doretha as she confronts her past. Get your tickets here.
On Juneteenth book reading with Annette-Gordon Reed
Join Pulitzer Prize winner Annette-Gordon Reed as she does a short reading of her book On Juneteenth. The reading will be followed by a conversation with award-winning journalist for ABC-13 News, Melanie Lawson. Purchase tickets here.