Juneteenth, celebrated annually on June 19, is the national commemoration of the ending of slavery in the U.S. Originating in Galveston, Texas, in 1865, it marks the date Union soldiers landed and shared news that enslaved people were now free.
It is important to note that this is more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which went into effect on January 1, 1863. With the surrender of General Lee in April 1865 and enough soldiers to enforce the law, the resistance ended.
Today, Juneteenth commemorates Black freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. The length of celebrations vary, but they are often marked with friend and family gatherings, speakers, picnics and more.
The Juneteenth website elaborates: “It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long overdue. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.”
Mizzou and Columbia Celebrations
Below are ways our community is commemorating Juneteenth! To add your event(s) to the list, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Juneteenth Heritage Walk
Facebook event page
The two-mile African American Heritage Trail was completed in 2019 and features over 30 historical markers commemorating the Black experience and Black achievement in Columbia. The Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., invites the community to explore the trail and post pictures of the experience using hashtags to compete for prizes. Learn more and register.
Como Celebrates Juneteenth
11 a.m.-6 p.m. June 19
Eventbrite free registration
As a community we want to celebrate this momentous occasion in a safe way during this pandemic. Even though this is a free event, please register so we can keep track of expected numbers for social distancing purposes. Space is limited. We will kick off the day in the late morning with a socially distanced gathering in a community parking lot. There will be a Fredrick Douglas re-enactment, food trucks, t-shirts, and kits for kids. We will continue to celebrate through virtual opportunities throughout the day, followed by the burying of a time capsule to conclude our event.
6-8 p.m. June 19
Route from WG6 parking lot (corner of Hospital Drive and Tiger Ave.) to Boone County Courthouse
MU Health Care’s African Heritage Employee Resource Group, Pride Employee Resource Group, and MU Women of Health Care Employee Resource Group have partnered with Emergency Services for their inaugural Solidarity Walk.
“As we march together, side by side, the hope is to communicate with one another and display a vision for the community of Columbia that we are the bridge to foster an environment of solidarity for the betterment of our community, walking and working alongside each other.”
Consider celebrating Juneteenth by supporting Mizzou alumni-owned Black businesses. Noir Mizzou is partnering with the Mizzou Black Alumni Network to create a comprehensive directory. Browse or submit your business!