Juneteenth at your library

Juneteenth Celebration

Juneteenth is said to be the oldest African American celebration of emancipation from slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, but news of emancipation moved slowly. For the next two and a half years, enslaved Africans and black abolitionists persevered in the struggle for freedom.

In Texas, formerly enslaved Africans celebrated their emancipation on June 19, 1865, and since then, Juneteenth has been remembered and celebrated as a holiday. From the late nineteenth century through today, typical Juneteenth celebrations across the country include parades, speeches by African American community leaders, singing of traditional songs such as “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and dancing.

Learn more about Juneteenth and emancipation through Minneapolis Central Library's Huttner Collection and books you can check out from your library:

Juneteenth celebrations at the library

Celebrate this important moment in African American history in a family-friendly festival. Engage in crafts, cultural demonstrations, storytelling, singing, drumming, theater and more! ASL interpreters will be present.

Thanks to our celebration partners:

Poetry events

In the spirit of Juneteenth, emancipation and creating a free landscape, Join us for a poetry reading and conversation with Keno Evol and Lisa Marie Brimmer of BlackTableArts. Conjure other worlds through black art and cultivate volume in black life.

Black Poets: On Creating a Blackmosphere

Story strolls

Stroll along a path outside the library and read “Juneteenth for Mazie” by Floyd Cooper, and participate in a writing activity about freedom.

Learn Together: Juneteenth for Mazie Story Stroll

This project is funded with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

The Twin Cities Juneteenth Celebration

The Twin Cities Juneteenth Celebration will take place on Saturday, June 16.