SPOKANE, Wash. — Juneteenth was officially made a federal holiday in 2021. It's a holiday to commemorate the emancipation of slavery in the United States.
Starting Friday, Spokane will be celebrating that holiday throughout the weekend.
This year the Juneteenth holiday falls on Sunday, June 19. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, in the aftermath of the civil war, slaves were declared free under the terms of the 1862 emancipation proclamation.
For some, it's just a holiday. But for many others, June 19 has a deeper meaning.
"On June 19, 1865, a Union General rode into Galveston, Texas to announce that the Civil War had ended, and slaves had been freed," Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center said in a statement. "Though the Emancipation Proclamation became law in January 1863, it could not be enforced in places still under confederate control. Thus it took over 2 years for approximately 250,000 Texan slaves to learn their freedom had been secured by the government."
The Inland Northwest Juneteenth Coalition (INWJC) in Spokane will be hosting the 11th annual Juneteenth celebration weekend full of cultural appreciation while cultivating, educating, and celebrating Juneteenth African American history. Other local organizations including the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Community Center and the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture will also be hosting some events to commemorate the holiday.
Here is the list of events kicking off in Spokane Friday for the Juneteenth celebration:
Friday, June 17:
- Pillar Awards Dinner honoring those who have impacted and uplifted the Spokane African American Community at MLK Family Outreach Center. The event will be taking place from 6-8 p.m. Tickets are $25 or eight sets for $185, with all profits going toward the nonprofit.
Saturday, June 18:
- Juneteenth Freedom, Culture and Unity celebration at MLK Family Outreach Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event includes a Black business showcase, live music, local vendors, arts and crafts, free food, giveaways, a much more.
- Movie in the park from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. in Underhill Park.
Sunday, June 19:
- Praise in the Park at Liberty Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Father's Day Brunch at Emmanuel Family Life Center from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
- The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in downtown Spokane will be hosting 'Juneteenth: A Celebration of Resistance,' event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Experience a compilation of short videos courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Affiliations and The National Museum of African American History and Culture that celebrate and help all Americans learn more about the historic legacy of this important day in American history.
Juneteenth events in Spokane
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