Two and half years after Emancipation, on June 19, 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger made an official proclamation at Galveston Island, ordering the freedom of enslaved Black people in Texas. The day, called Juneteenth, has been a Texas state holiday since 1980 and has been celebrated by Black communities in Texas since before that time. In 2021, the United States Congress passed a bill establishing Juneteenth as a national holiday.
Below, find a list of some upcoming events celebrating Juneteenth throughout Texas.
2023 Juneteenth Celebration
Organized by Central Texas Juneteenth
June 17, 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
A celebration featuring a parade, musical performances, and more.
Juneteenth Austin Family Cookout and Music Festival
George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center
June 17, 3-9 p.m.
An event featuring free BBQ, vendors, carnival games, raffles, and musical performances.
Neill-Cochran House Museum
June 18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
From the museum: “Join us for dominoes and lawn games, and a painting class with Signs and Symbols artist, Rejina Thomas. Then pick up the Black West Austin Driving Tour (which starts at the NCHM), and explore the historic sites of the freedom colonies of Wheatville and Clarksville.”
2023 Juneteenth 4K Walk & Festival
The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center
June 17, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
From the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center: “The event will begin with a 4K Freedom Walk for health & wellness, and end with a free community festival with live entertainment, vendors, and fun activities for the entire family.”
Juneteenth 2023 Programming
African American Museum, Dallas
June 15-19, Various times
From the museum: “Free and open to the public In celebration of Juneteenth, activites include gallery talks, tours, a book discussion, a presentation on the history of Juneteenth, music, vendors and more.”
Soul of Sycamore: Juneteenth Parade of Freedom
Presented by Soul of Sycamore
June 17, 11 a.m.
From the organizers: “Come celebrate Freedom at the Juneteenth Parade, hosted by the Soul of Sycamore!”
Frank Frazier One-Day Solo Exhibition | Juneteenth
Pencil on Paper Gallery
June 18, 2-5 p.m.
From the gallery: “Pencil on Paper Gallery is celebrating Frank Frazier and Juneteenth in a one-day solo exhibition with guest artist, Lakeem Wilson. A selection of new works will be available for acquisition, with an artist reception to be held from 2pm to 5pm on Sunday, June 18, 2023. Newly created works will debut in Frank Frazier’s exhibition, I Still Ain’t Got No 40 Acres, & I Don’t Want No Damn Mule at Pencil on Paper Gallery for one day only. We humbly invite everyone to meet the artist at our annual Juneteenth celebration.”
Opal’s Walk for Freedom
1050 Evans Avenue
June 19, 9:30 a.m.
From the organizers: “At 90 years old, Ms. Opal began her walking campaign to bring attention to the need for Juneteenth to be a National Day of Observance. With 47 states that officially recognized it as a holiday, she believed now it was time for national legislation.
Starting here in Fort Worth, she walked mile for mile through Arlington, Grand Prairie and Dallas until a change was made to go where she was invited to walk her prescribed 2.5 miles representing the years it took for enforcement of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to reach Texas and free the slaves there. Register to walk with her in Fort Worth.”
Project Row Houses
June 16, 5-9 p.m.
From PRH: “Project Row Houses invites the community to join us in commemorating Juneteenth in Third Ward at our annual Juneteenth Kickback!
Enjoy delicious BBQ, fish fry and other treats, while immersing yourself in live music. Don’t miss the Community Mural Project from 6-7 p.m., where we’ll collaboratively design a three-dimensional replica of a Row House!”
Online Screening: Aesthetic Inheritances
From DiverseWorks: “Visit DiverseWorks.org from June 16 through June 19 to access a limited screening of Aesthetic Inheritances online.
Aesthetic Inheritances is a project by performance artist Stacey Allen, created in collaboration with cultural preservationist and photographer Danielle Mason and filmmaker Keda Sharber, that explores the preservation of black culture and community. The project is created, in part, on the site of the Barrett family home at Barrett Station, a Freedom Town established in 1875 in Northeast Harris County.”
A Juneteenth Celebration at Bayou Bend
Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens
June 17, 10 a.m.
From the MFAH: “Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens celebrates the history of Juneteenth. Highlights include exploring the legacy of African American cowboys, learning about Houston’s Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, and making your own art.”
Houston Museum of African American Culture
June 17, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
From the museum: “A cultural shopping event that features the Culture Shoppe and local vendors.”
Organized by The San Antonio Juneteenth Commission
June 16 & 17, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
A celebration featuring food, vendors, kids activities, and music.
Alamo Hall, hosted by The Alamo
June 16, 10:30 a.m.
From the organizers: “The Alamo is proud to present Remembering Juneteenth, a powerful historical account of the emancipation of enslaved African Americans through the narratives of formerly enslaved people from Texas. This 25-minute educational work will be performed live by Dr. Jolie Rocke, a Texas Commission on the Arts Texas Touring Roster Artist, and Manning Mpinduzi-Mott.
Remembering Juneteenth offers a unique perspective on the journey toward freedom by sharing first-person accounts of the emancipated in their own words. The language used in the performance is from the early 1900s, immersing audiences in the antebellum period and providing a glimpse into the lives of those who fought for their freedom.”
Freedom: A Gospel Celebration of Juneteenth
Organized by The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum
June 19, 4-7:30 p.m.
From the organizers: “Bexar County and the Tobin Center culminate Juneteenth 2023 with a celebration of gospel music. The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum (SAAACAM) is proud to facilitate this event celebrating the emancipation of the enslaved here in Texas. SAAACAM is collaborating with the Gospel Haus and Museum to present the stories steeped in freedom and joy from San Antonio and Houston gospel music legends.”