Many of us live in our own little bubbles and get into our own routines; same thing, new day. More often than not, we also don’t step very far out of that bubble which also can hinder us from learning something new and trying something new. So my question for you is, have you heard of Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is a squish of “June” and “Nineteenth” which marks the final announcement on June 19, 1865 of General Order No. 3 by Union Army general Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas, which was the last state of the Confederacy with institutional slavery. Although Lincoln had announced the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier, freedom did not come for most African Americans until Union victory in April 1865 when Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the American Civil War and, officially, in December 1865 with the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it has been celebrated annually on June 19 in various parts of the United States since 1865. The day was recognized as a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law.
What I love about Orlando is that there is always something happening to celebrate the awesomeness of others and Juneteenth has made its way to this list!
Orlando is proud to host numerous celebrations and commemorations related to this important holiday which can be found on the Visit Orlando website.
June 16 – Better Together Juneteenth Mixer, Camping World Stadium, 1 Citrus Bowl Place, Orlando, 6:30 – 9:30PM, Kickoff Juneteenth weekend in unity with Orlando’s Elite! Together Central FL’s Black Professional organizations are joining forces to celebrate unity. Enjoy Live Music, DJ, Food, Drinks, Photo Opportunities, and most importantly the organizations!
June 17 – BLK YRD-Juneteenth Block Party, Luminary Green Park, 437 N Terry Ave., Orlando, 4 – 9PM, The perfect way to celebrate Juneteenth is by buying black, circulating the black dollar + having a great time doing it! Enjoy Vendors, DJs, Guest Hosts, Kids Zone, Food Trucks, +The Noir Bar featuring ALL Black-Owned Alcohol Brand.
June 17 – Junteenth Event, Reiter Park, 311 Warren Avenue, Longwood, 11AM – 2PM, The City of Longwood, in partnership with FLY 103.1 is excited to announce its 2nd Annual Free Juneteenth Celebration at Reiter Park on Saturday, June 17, 2023, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm featuring live music by Silkee Smoove Band Hall, food trucks, water slides, vendors, and more! Join us for a day of celebration, and bring your best dance moves. RSVP Now! https://fb.me/e/41AX9EcUS
June 17 – Juneteenth Celebration, Waterfront Park, 100 3rd Street, Clermont, 5 – 8PM, Don’t miss our second Juneteenth event, a cultural and educational celebration of freedom. Come join us for an evening of art, music, and authentic cuisine.
June 18 – afroCAN Fest: Juneteenth Tampa Bay, Perry Harvey Sr. Park, 5 – 9PM, The much anticipated AfroCAN Fest is back in Tampa Bay this Juneteenth Weekend featuring an unforgettable evening celebrating black excellence and culture in style! Come dressed Afro-chic and bring/ your picnic blankets to lounge on the lawns of Perry Harvey Park while enjoying live music, art, food, and fashion under the stars! Tickets on sale at afrocanfest.eventbrite.com
Winter Park/College Park/Baldwin Park
June 17 – Juneteenth Matinee: Daughters of the Dust, Winter Park Library, 1052 W Morse Blvd., Winter Park, 11AM – 12:45PM, A vast yet intimate drama set in 1902 about the preparations of an extended family to migrate from St. Helena’s Island, S.C. to the U.S. mainland. One riveting scene was the inspiration for Beyonce’s Lemonade visual album. The film won the Sundance Festival 1991 Award for Excellence in Cinematography.
June 20 – Da’ Path to Juneteenth, Winter Park Library, 1052 W Morse Blvd., Winter Park, 6 – 7:30PM, Gullah is a people, a culture, a language, and a way of life. Beaufort, SC-based, world-renowned Gullah Heritage Scholar Anita Singleton Prather brings Gullah culture to life in this entertaining, educational, and interactive presentation affirming customs that are familiar to some generations and an introduction to others. A reception will follow her presentation.
June 1 – The Men Who Made Juneteenth Possible, DeLand Regional Library,130 E Howry Ave, DeLand, 1 – 2PM, In honor of Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, Dr. Gannon will highlight the role of African American soldiers during the Civil War.
While attending this year’s Juneteenth celebrations and exploring African American history in Orlando, make time for Black-owned businesses, too. They include attractions like Bronze Kingdom African Art Gallery on International Drive, as well as restaurants, retailers and more, many of which are affiliated with the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida ( https://www.blackcommerce.org/business-map/ ). Find what’s near your bubble or get adventurous and travel past your comfort zone, but definitely show your support on Juneteenth. Happy Independence Day!