The official start of summer, June 21st, 2023, is approaching and the excitement of summer fun radiates amongst the community from vacation plans, taking time to relax, to meeting up with friends. As the Madison community starts to enjoy this summer season, we can celebrate this eventful month together. June represents the month of both African American Music Appreciation and LGBTQIA+ Pride. In addition, the Juneteenth, which celebrates Black freedom, is Monday, June 19.

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was announced on January 1, 1863, Union troops did not reach Galveston, Texas with the news that all enslaved people were free, until June 19th, 1865. A year later, in 1866, the first Juneteenth was celebrated across the Black community. Juneteenth is celebrated in many different ways, from family gatherings, festivals, parades, picnics, speeches, to educational events, and more.

This holiday is also known as Freedom Day. It is important to consider, that while this holiday is a celebration of freedom, it can also be painful for people to reflect upon a history of oppression and how the harsh impacts of slavery has affected the Black community and the world around us. Juneteenth is a day to honor our friends, family, neighbors, and people of the Black community. Some ways to honor the holiday include coming together to celebrate Black freedom, education of history, listening to and amplifying Black voices. This support helps encourage our dedication to community allyship.

On June 20th, 2023, the Madison Senior Center will host a public celebration for Juneteenth from 10:30AM to 11:30AM. We will be celebrating Black liberation, resilience, and joy. All are welcome to join us for some cake, music, and an informational slideshow about the holiday. We hope to see you there!

To learn more about Juneteenth, ways to support, and get involved, resources are provided below:

Resources local to Madison, WI:

Additional informational resource:

Juneteenth Celebration

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Madison Senior Center and a link back to the original post.