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 in the spirit of Juneteenth, celebrate Blackness with the following books about the excellence, joy, heritage, accomplishments, and culture of African Americans:

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! This is one of the many ways to celebrate Juneteenth in the Twin Cities. ASL interpreters will be present.

Thanks to our celebration partners:

Film events

Independent media journalist and filmmaker Ralph L. Crowder III will screen his film "Runaway Dreams & Cardboard Condos" and share an examination of the psychological condition of Black men and the issues of homelessness in America. This film features the late Dr. Joseph White who was Professor Emeritus at the University of California Irvine and Founder of the Association of Black Psychologists.

Runaway Dreams and Cardboard Condos

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.

These are some of many events celebrating Juneteenth in the Twin Cities this year. The Minneapolis Park Board is celebrating Juneteenth on Saturday, June 15, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Twin Cities Juneteenth are excited about their 2019 Juneteenth Celebration, keep an eye on their website for details!