Juneteenth is the newest federal holiday signed into law by President Biden on June 17, 2021. It acknowledges and celebrates the freedom of enslaved people in the United States at the end of the Civil War, an often overlooked moment in African American history. Because June 19, 2022, falls on a Sunday, the federal holiday will be observed on Monday, June 20.
Although the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in the South in 1863, it could not be enforced in many places until after the Civil War ended in 1865. On June 19, 1865 Union Major General Gordon Granger and his troops arrived at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and the enslaved were now free.
For more than 150 years, African American communities across the country have observed Juneteenth – a portmanteau for June and nineteenth – as their Independence Day and Freedom Day. Juneteenth is a celebration of resilience and a time to gather with family and friends sharing music, culture, and great food.
To mark this day, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American and History (NMAAHC) will host a variety of virtual and in-person events and programs highlighting the experiences of African American Juneteenth celebrations.
Here in the Lowcountry, Middleton Place will hold a series of programs on June 19 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm to celebrate this special day. Programs will include theatrical presentations, Beyond the Fields documentary viewings, and other hands-on crafts and activities. In addition, several all-day celebrations are planned at various venues in Charleston County.
Lowcountry Juneteenth Week and Festival
June 13 – 19, 2022
Various times and venues
Root of Soul J19th Fest
June 11, 2022
1:00 – 10:00 pm
Hanahan Amphitheater, Hanahan
Juneteenth Family Fest
June 18, 2022
3:00 – 10:00 pm
North Charleston’s Riverfront Park
Juneteenth is a day to commemorate a pivotal milestone in African American history and the richness of African American culture.
(Image credit: charlestoncvb.com)