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Community togetherness: How families can celebrate Juneteenth 2021 in Houston
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, commemorates the final Texas emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. In 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers rode into Galveston, Texas, and delivered the message of freedom to one of the last pockets of the confederate south. Celebrating freedom, Juneteenth is always a joyous holiday to observe, even more so after a long year of missed celebrations and postponed festivities. Juneteenthis also an incredibly meaningful date to celebrate this year, marking a year where our nation has grappled with issues of racism and racial inequality.
With less COVID 19-related restrictions compared to last year, there are many wonderful ways to celebrate Juneteenth for families this year. Here’s a few of Houston’s offerings:
- Juneteenth Weekend Fun at the Heritage Society – Located in the heart of downtown Houston, the Heritage Society is a museum and series of restored homes which detail what Houston’s life was like for the city’s earliest residents. Tour guides will explain what these homes represent in the African-American history of Houston. The Heritage Society has beautiful green parks for the kids to run in – it’s also located steps away from Houston’s beautiful Buffalo Bayou if you’d like to take the family on a hiking exploration after.
Details: June 17–19, The Heritage Society,1100 Bagby Street, Houston, TX 77002
- Support Black-owned businesses – BLCK market is a local market curated to the Black American experience and supporting Black small businesses and entrepreneurs. It’s a great place to wander stalls, try delicious foods and buy unique items not found elsewhere. This market is located in Houston’s beautiful Midtown neighborhood, directly across from the Buffalo Soldier’s museum.
Details: Saturday, June 19, 2021, 1-5 p.m., Location: 3816 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004
- Visit Houston’s National Buffalo Soldiers Museum – The Buffalo soldiers were the first African-American professional soldiers serving in post-civil war era, and their ranks were comprised of former enslaved people, freemen and Black civil war soldiers. This museum details the early history of the Buffalo soldiers, as well as the history of African-Americans in U.S. military and space exploration programs.
Details: The Buffalo Soldiers Museum is open Tuesdays – Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Location: 3816 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004.
- Blues and Creole Music at Miller Outdoor Theater – Miller Outdoor Theatre is a large outdoor concert hall and park settled within beautiful Hermann Park. This year, celebrate Juneteenth Gulf-Coast style, listening to Blues and Creole music outside under the stars. Miller outdoor theater tickets are always free and available online one week before the event. If you can’t get tickets, there is always room on the for a picnic blanket on the lawn.
Details: Saturday, June 19, Location: 6000 Herman Park Drive, Houston, TX 77030
- Road trip to Galveston – Galveston Island is holding a Juneteenth festival this year, starting with a dedication of a beautiful new mural “Absolute Equality” which is created on the historic site where a Union general made the announcement of emancipation to Galveston citizens in 1865. Take a drive down with the family, appreciate the mural and attend what organizers are calling a “family friendly celebration of Freedom” featuring food vendors, live music, a Black artist exhibition, and more. For more information about the mural display, please see details below.
- Dedication of Juneteenth Legacy Project’s “Absolute Equality”
Organizer: Juneteenth Legacy Project
When: 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 19
Where: Old Galveston Square Building – 2211 The Strand, Galveston, TX, 77550
Details: The Juneteenth Legacy Project will dedicate its public art installation, “Absolute Equality” during a public ceremony featuring a host of special guests important to the initiative. Click here for more information.
There are so many great opportunities in Houston to celebrate this important day and I hope you and your family enjoy doing so together.