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Happy Juneteenth 2015?

Juneteenth2People all over the country have been holding vigils for the nine people who were killed in the mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday, and today (and throughout the weekend) people will be celebrating Juneteenth with parades, picnics, and music. While it’s difficult to reconcile the grief with the celebrations, it seems like a crucial year to show up to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the day Texan slaves were freed.

JuneteenthJuneteenth (then called Emancipation Day) celebrations have been taking place every year since, but it was not until 1979 that a bill was introduced to make it a state holiday (and many other states later followed suit). It was not until last year that a historical marker (photo above) was erected in Galveston on the spot where the original announcement of emancipation was made. And the spellchecker on the computer used to write this post still does not recognize the word “Juneteenth.”

So here are a few links to some of the festivities throughout the state (but check for weather-related updates).

Dallas Juneteenth, also the 1st Annual Black Music Festival
Houston Area Juneteenth Celebrations
Austin: Juneteenth Central Texas
Missouri City Juneteenth Celebration
Fort Worth Juneteenth Freedom Fest
Juneteenth San Antonio
El Paso Juneteenth in the Park
Waco Juneteenth Celebration
Corpus Christi Juneteenth
Beaumont Juneteenth
Lubbock Unified Juneteenth
Galveston Juneteenth Festival

For those who wish to honor the day by looking at a lot of art, the University Museum at Texas Southern University (TSU) will be hosting the opening and awards celebration of the Citywide African American Artists Exhibition this evening from 6-8pm, presented by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in collaboration with the Museum’s Five-A patron group, and the University Museum at TSU.

(Top image: Photo by Billy Smith II/Chronicle staff. Lower image: Martha and Pinkie Yates in a buggy decorated for Juneteenth, Houston Library. Photo via The Ultimate History Project.)

also by Paula Newton
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