On June 19, 1865, enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas received news that they were finally free. Since then, June 19 has become a day of celebration, particularly for Black communities. It was not, however, observed as a federal holiday until 2021.
If you are interested in learning more about this monumental day in history, check out some of these events across the North Shore this year.
2023 Juneteenth Celebration, Lynn | June 17, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The North Shore Juneteenth Association, Lynn Museum/LynnArts, and Lynn Music Foundation are partnering to bring a Juneteenth celebration to Lynn. The event will feature live music, performances, vendors, food, and activities fit for the whole family. More details can be found online.
Gloucester Juneteenth Celebration, Gloucester | June 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Cape Ann Museum will be holding its third annual Juneteenth celebration and festival, featuring live readings of Federick Douglass’ work, music, art activities, and performances from New England Black Circus. The full schedule of events and activities can be found online.
“Journey to Juneteenth” with Storyteller Valerie Tutson, Salem | June 10, 11 a.m.-12 p.m
In celebration of Juneteenth, Essex Heritage and the National Park Service is welcoming the award-winning storyteller Valerie Tutson to the Salem Armory Regional Visitor Center. During her visit to Salem, Tutson will be giving her 45-minute program “Journey to Juneteenth,” which illustrates the day emancipation reached Galveston. More information on the event and its registration can be found here.
Flag raisings, various towns | June 12-23
Cities and towns throughout the North Shore are celebrating Juneteenth by raising the holiday’s official flag. Some of these events will include gatherings, readings, and speeches by public officials. The full list of events can be found on the North Shore Juneteenth Association’s website.
When Houston Had The Blues, Newburyport, June 19, 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Stop by downtown Newburyport’s Screening Room to celebrate Juneteenth this year with the showing of When Houston Had The Blues. This documentary sheds light on the vibrant Black music scene of Houston and 50% of the proceeds of this screening will go to Community Change, Inc, which promotes racial justice in the greater Boston area. The screening of this film will also be followed by a Skype interview with director Alan Swyer. Learn more and buy tickets at newburyportmovies.com/when-houston-had-the-blues. .
Juneteenth and Father’s Day Celebration, Lowell, June 18, 12 p.m-5 p.m.
Celebrate Father’s Day and Juneteenth at this outdoor event filled with games, music, and even kayaking. The celebration, hosted by the Black Lowell Coalition, is at Muldoon Park and is free of charge to everyone, and more information can be found online.