Celebrating Juneteenth

Every June 19th, we are honored to celebrate Juneteenth, a day that marks a significant milestone in American history. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring fight for freedom, equality and justice for African Americans.

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, originated on June 19, 1865. On this day, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced that all enslaved people were free, in accordance with the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. This proclamation had little effect in Texas and other Confederate states until Union forces were able to enforce it, making Juneteenth a symbol of delayed but eventual freedom.

Friends and Family Gathering in Park

Reflecting on Progress and Continuing the Journey

While Juneteenth is a day of celebration, it is also a time for reflection on the ongoing struggle for racial equality and justice. Despite the progress made, systemic racism and inequality persist. Consider getting involved:

  • Educate: Learn about the history of African Americans and the significance of Juneteenth. Resources are available at local libraries and online.
  • Support: Patronize Black-owned businesses and support organizations that work toward racial justice and equity.
  • Advocate: Use your voice to promote policies that address racial disparities and support equality.
  • Engage: Participate in community dialogues and initiatives that aim to bridge gaps and foster understanding.

Community Spotlight
This Juneteenth, we are proud to highlight some African-American-owned businesses in Chicago
Soulé: A boutique restaurant located at 3615 W Roosevelt Rd, Soulé is known for its creole-infused soul food. The restaurant was inspired by the owner Bridgette Flagg’s family recipes and offers a cozy, upscale dining experience​

Justice of the Pies: Founded by Maya-Camille Broussard, Justice of the Pies is a bakery specializing in sweet and savory pies. The business is dedicated to promoting social justice by supporting various community initiatives, including providing culinary education to underserved communities. Justice of the Pies is well-regarded for its delicious products and community impact.

Juneteenth Freedom Market at the Salt Shed: This market celebrates Black creativity and entrepreneurship, showcasing over 50 local Black-owned businesses. The event includes performances by groups like the 40+ Double Dutch Club, making it a lively and engaging celebration.

Juneteenth is more than a celebration; it is a testament to resilience, strength and the unyielding pursuit of freedom. As we commemorate this day, let us reaffirm our commitment to justice and equality for all.