Juneteenth — recognized annually on June 19 — is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. This year marks the 157th year of its recognition and first anniversary as a federal holiday – nationally acknowledging slavery as core to the historical oppression and persistent inequities impacting Black communities across the United States.
On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic and the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, which opened wide the lens on injustice, President Joe Biden on June 17, 2021 signed into law a national declaration of America acknowledging its past.
The recognition and celebration of Juneteenth is an important moment to pause with the thought that not all Americans were free when the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th, 1776. While traditionally celebrated as the nation’s transition to freedom, not all were free or citizens. The coming of freedom would remain long and deceptive for slaves for another 87-89 years, during which time the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on Jan. 1, 1863, declaring all enslaved people in states engaged in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” It was news that reached Galveston, in the Confederate state of Texas, two-and-a-half years later on June 19, 1865. The day marked and celebrated still today as “Juneteenth,” also known as Freedom Day and Jubilee. Five months later the 13th Amendment was adopted, formally abolishing slavery.
The diversity of families is rooted in First 5 LA’s work. As is the measure of inequities that marginalize families and their access to needed systems and services. This Juneteenth and throughout each year we lift-up important work still before us and this nation to end racial disparities and celebrate equity for all.
Support your child’s curiosity and understanding of racial equity and Black history in America. Follow the link for events and resources.
- Museum of Tolerance: Freedom Sisters – Freedom’s Sisters tells the stories of 20 African American women whose work for liberty and equality continues to challenge us to push aside the limitations that constrict us.
- BrainPOP: What is Juneteenth and Why Do We Celebrate?
- History for Kids | Seed of Melanin Kids! – Juneteenth for Kids!
- New York Public Library: Kids’ Books to Celebrate Juneteenth
- SoulfulofNoise Presents: Juneteenth Festival – A free Juneteenth Celebration for the entire family to enjoy. Live Music, Food, Fun & Games, and Workshops to empower our community! (In-person, Sunday, June 19, 2022 12– 6 P.M.)
- CSUN: Black in the Valley: Juneteenth Celebration – Enjoy this wonderful family-friendly celebration at Woodley Park, hosted by Zawadi Cultural Collective. There will be music, food and giveaways! (In-person, Saturday, June 18, 2022 – 1–6 P.M.)
- Juneteenth Jamboree and Freedom Walk – A family-friendly event celebrating African American history, heritage, and culture. (In-person, Sunday, Jun 19, 2022, 5:00 PM)
- Los Angeles Public Library: Juneteenth Portraits: An Art Project – The children’s reading area will turn into an art studio to commemorate Juneteenth. (In-person, Sunday, June 19, 11 A.M.–4 P.M.)
- Los Angeles Public Library: Juneteenth: Links in Chains – Celebrate emancipation from slavery by crafting a chain where each link represents a barrier to equal treatment under the law. Then destroy the chain to restore freedom, justice and equality. (In-person, Tuesday, June 14, 3:00 pm)
- California African American Museum: Juneteenth Prosperity Market @ CAAM – Celebrate Black farmers, chefs, and entrepreneurs at this special Juneteenth edition of the Prosperity Market pop-up at CAAM! (In-person, Sunday, June 19, 11 A.M.–3 P.M.)
- Pretend City Children’s Museum: Celebrate Juneteenth – Play with purpose and learn about the importance of diversity and inclusion! (In-person, Friday, June 17 11 A.M)
- Aquarium of the Pacific: Juneteenth Celebrations – Join the Aquarium of the Pacific for its annual celebration of Juneteenth with Baba the Storyteller. (In-person, Sunday, June 19th from 1–2 P.M.)
- Open Arms Food Pantry & Resource Center: Juneteenth x Festival 2022 – Join LA Black History Month Festival in celebration of Juneteenth Day on June 19th 2022 at Westchester Park of Los Angeles City. (In-person, Sunday, June 19, 11 A.M.–6 P.M.)
- Los Angeles Public Library: Smarty Pants Storytime: Juneteenth – Celebrate Juneteenth with stories, songs, and rhymes while learning school readiness skills. For kids ages 2 – 5 with their parent or caregiver. (Virtual, Friday, June 17 11 A.M.)