On June 19, 1865, Major Gen. Gordon Granger led Union soldiers into Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and slavery was abolished – two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
President Lincoln’s edict had little impact on the people of Texas, since there were few Union troops around at the time to enforce it. But, with the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee in April 1865 and the arrival of Gen. Gordon Granger’s regiment in Galveston, troops were finally strong enough to enforce the executive order. Newly freed men rejoiced, originating the annual “Juneteenth” celebration, which commemorates the freeing of the slaves in Texas.
Although Juneteenth has been informally celebrated each year since 1865, it wasn’t until June 3, 1979, that Texas became the first state to proclaim Juneteenth an official state holiday.
The National Museum of African American History & Culture has a digital toolkit where you can read historical documents, watch historical films, and look through items of historical significance in the collections of the museum.
The celebration includes a tour, a panel discussion, a Reggae festival, a gospel choir concert, African drumming, and more…
Reading the bones is both an ancient and modern form of divination found in all civilizations. Divination is among the earliest human spiritual practices concerned with choosing actions that were in accord with the “will of heaven” to allay uncertainty, heal illness, or navigate issues of tribal importance.
Interestingly, the casting and reading of the bones take on a different connotation when we consider the rediscovery of the 18th-century African burying ground in Portsmouth, NH. This accidental unearthing of African remains on a city street that had been forgotten, paved over, and built upon forced the city and the state at large to acknowledge their history of enslaving humans and the presence of Africans in the region before enslavement.
BHTNH offers this weeklong Juneteenth celebration to honor these early African settlers and their descendants for their extraordinary contributions to the growth of this region. We honor the African traders who interacted with the Indigenous tribal nations long before European settlers landed on these shores. We honor the Africans who survived the Middle Passage and the successive generations of the African diaspora who continue to contribute to the development, wealth, and well-being of New England.
June 10, 15, 16, 17, 18 & 19, 2023
African American Music Appreciation Month & Juneteenth Film Series
Maine Inside Out and partners will host a public celebration of Juneteenth. The event honors the emancipation of enslaved people in America while recognizing that the systems and structures of chattel slavery are still intact today.
“Juneteenth: A Change We’re Waiting For” will feature original artistic performances by MIO members and BIPOC artists from the community and includes tables hosted by a diverse coalition of Lewiston organizations, grilled food and drinks, and fun activities for families.
This is a collaborative event with other organizations working toward racial justice.
Friday, June 16, 2023 4:30 PM 6:30 PM in Lewiston’s Kennedy Park
James Weldon Johnson + Juneteenth (combined celebration)
The annual celebration of James Weldon Johnson and Juneteenth combined will be held in Wiscasset on Saturday, June 17 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. This year’s program will be a short “walk and talk.” Join us at 4 p.m. on the Wiscasset Town Common by the James Weldon Johnson memorial bench. Our second stop will be Ancient Cemetery on Federal Street, and then it is on to Nickels-Sortwell House’s garden for a picnic. Refreshments provided, or bring your own picnic!
June 17th; 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Town common; Wiscasset
Weekend on the Water
A special opportunity for Black and people of color and their families to get outdoors in beautiful Down East Maine! Featuring two full days of FREE family-friendly outdoor activities, including camping, sailing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, star gazing, wading and beach exploration, delicious foods and more!
Pre-registration is required – link coming soon! This event is FREE for Black and people of color and their families.
Saturday and Sunday, June 17-18
Lamoine State Park, ME
WJZP 107.9 is proud to be a cultural outlet for our community. We believe music has the power to connect people from all walks of life.
Join us on our annual Juneteenth Freedom Celebration event on Sunday, June 18th. This event is free and all are welcome to attend! We’ll have food trucks, music, and more! Please sign up for your ticket, since space is limited.
Hope to see you there!
June 18th; 11:00 am – 9:00 pm.
200 Anderson Street, Portland
The State of Black Maine Symposium is a daylong event that will be held annually on Juneteenth—now a paid state holiday in Maine—with the aim of creating and sustaining a public platform that amplifies Black Maine voices, unifies across difference, builds solidarity, fosters collaboration, holds space for creative expression, and inspires bold collective visioning. While foregrounding community elders and cultural knowledge keepers, this multigenerational event reserves a place of equal prominence for youth leaders.
Through plenary convenings, keynote addresses, panel discussions, and exhibitions, the State of Black Maine Symposium will foster a deeper understanding of Maine’s Black history while addressing the broad spectrum of conditions experienced today by the state’s Black populations across sectors such as employment, education, environmental justice, health, housing, criminal justice, and economics. These proceedings will raise awareness about existing racial disparities and aim to generate momentum toward the development of solutions.
A collaboration with the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous, and Tribal Populations; Maine Humanities Council; Maine Arts Commission; Maine State Archive; Maine State Library; Maine Historical Society; Cultural Affairs Council; University of Southern Maine; and Maine Black Educators Collective.
Monday, June 19th 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Hannaford Hall 88 Bedford Street Portland, ME 04101
2023 Juneteenth Downeast Commemoration
Featuring Pihcintu Multinational Girls’ Chorus, Stream Reggae, Chief Oscar Mokeme of the Museum of African Culture, incredible Black speakers, free delicious foods, hands-on activities for all ages, and more!
All are welcome.
Monday, June 19th | 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Knowlton Park, Ellsworth, ME
American Association of Public Health Dentists – Juneteenth Community Health Event
Join the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, Student Chapter of the University of New England, for a free community health fair for families. Food, music, and
free dental exams, supplies, and information, sponsored in partnership with Maine Immigrants’ Rights Organization. Organizations that share the mission of serving the immigrant and/or underserved communities of Maine are invited to table at the event. Contact Woodlyn Joachim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, June 24th 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Equality Community Center, 15 Casco Street, Portland
posted: , by Raminta Moore