Planning to celebrate Juneteenth this weekend?
It’s been a year since President Joseph Biden signed into law the federal holiday commemorating the date in 1865 when enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told by newly arrived federal troops that they were free, two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
Whether you’ve celebrated Juneteenth your whole life or if this year is the first time, here are some suggestions for how to celebrate Black freedom this weekend:
Go to Evanston’s Juneteenth celebration: Go to the Civic Center’s Ingraham Park for a party that lasts until 6 p.m. It’s organized by Kemone Hendricks via her nonprofit company, Evanston Present & Future, and her for-profit business, Mari & Mari Enterprises in conjunction with the City of Evanston.
Festivities at Ingrahm park, will feature performances by Kingsway Preparatory school, Funkadesi, Donovan Mixon Jazz Quintet, Christ Temple Choir and food from Jecky’s BBQ, Happy Taco, Firehouse Grill and C&W Market and Ice Cream Parlor. Come out and enjoy dozens of arts and craft vendors, as well as multiple hands-on activities for the family.
Attend the Juneteenth Frederick Douglass exhibit at Northwestern’s Deering Library: Freedom for Everyone: Slavery and Abolition in 19th Century America is a new exhibition at the Charles Deering Library at Northwestern University’s lakefront campus. The exhibit showcases rarely seen papers and letters about Frederick Douglass’ enslavement and later freedom, along with other documents about the experience of 19th century Black America. A version of the exhibit is available online, but the exhibit was purposefully curated for a Juneteenth showing.
Watch The Big Payback, a film about local reparations: The documentary, which premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival, is directed by Erika Alexander and Whitney Dow and follows the journey of former City Council member Robin Rue Simmons and other city officials as they attempt to get the local reparations program up and running. It’s available to screen from home on the Tribeca Film Festival website for $20.
Check out the Library: Evanston Public Library is hosting several Juneteenth events.
- From 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 19, the Robert Crown branch of the library will host a family game night with trivia and games such as “Black Card Revoked.” A few Black-owned Evanston restaurants will cater.
- From 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, June 22, the library is hosting a Juneteenth Sip & Paint at Temperance Beer Co., 2000 Dempster St. Participants can look forward to making art, having great conversations and drinking beer with the community. All art materials will be provided. Register here.