Juneteenth – which was declared a federal holiday for the first time last year – commemorates the date June 19, 1865, when enslaved Black people of Galveston, Texas, finally learned of the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln more than two years earlier.
In the coming days, communities across Essex County will recognize this important holiday with celebrations, ceremonies and flag raisings.
“Every time I see the (Juneteenth) flag go up, every time I hear the Black National Anthem being sung, it really is just inspiring,” Nicole McClain, founder of the North Shore Juneteenth Association, told the Salem News earlier this week. “It reminds me of how far we have come from being enslaved.”
McClain’s organization, which held its first flag raising in 2017, is co-hosting its annual Juneteenth Celebration, in partnership with the Lynn Museum/Lynn arts, on June 19, 2022, starting at 11am. The event will include music, poetry, food, dance and education.
Visit the North Shore Juneteenth Association online for more information about the event, the history of the holiday and for a listing of flag raisings and ceremonies taking place over the next few days across Essex County.
Below is a sampling of other Juneteenth celebrations taking place across Essex County. In addition to visiting the North Shore Juneteenth Association website, check local listings, including the municipal website for your community, for additional events.
On June 18, from noon to 3pm, Andover Baptist Church, South Church Andover and Andover Diverse will host a Juneteenth celebration that includes music, community speakers, games, exhibits, spoken word and more at the Robb Center.
The Danvers Human Rights and Inclusion Committee will host a Juneteenth celebration that includes refreshments, live music and community speakers at the Peabody Institute Public Library’s Rotary Pavillion on June 19 at noon.
On June 19, from 10am to 2pm at the Cape Ann Museum, the Gloucester Juneteenth Festival will include music, dance, food, special exhibits and readings, kids’ activities and more.
On Wednesday, June 22 at 7pm, the Marblehead Racial Justice Team will host a discussion, “Why the Juneteenth Federal Holiday Matters to Us All,” at the Abbot Public Library on Pleasant Street.
On Saturday, June 18, the City of Methuen, in partnership with First Baptist Church, will celebrate Juneteenth with live music, speakers and free food at Methuen Memorial Music Hall from 1-3pm
The Museum of Old Newbury will host a Juneteenth Tiptoe Through the Tombstones, which will focus on the memorials of Newburyport’s once-thriving Black community, on June 19 from 10-11:30am.