What to do and where to go in Chicago and beyond for Juneteenth celebrations

The Juneteenth Flag signals the true day of liberation for the remaining enslaved African ancestors who were notified of their freedom in Galveston, Texas.

The Juneteenth flag celebrates the true day of liberation of the last enslaved Black people in the United States in 1865. | Evan F. Moore/Sun-Times

Parades, music, museums, block parties, tours, and yoga classes across Chicago and beyond highlight the annual celebration of freedom. 

June 19 marks Juneteenth, the true day of liberation in 1865 for the remaining enslaved African Americans who were notified of their freedom on that date in Galveston, Texas.

The holiday has its own flag created by activist Ben Haith, where the colors — red, white, and blue — are sported with a bursting star (representing Texas, nicknamed the Lone Star State), celebrating the true day of liberation of the last enslaved Black people in the United States in 1865.

Last month, the Illinois state legislature declared Juneteenth a state holiday.

Here’s a list of Juneteenth celebrations planned across Chicago and beyond:

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, 212 N. 6th, Springfield: A rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward will be displayed from June 15 to July 6. Entry fee: Adults ($15); Kids, 5-15 ($6); presidentlincoln.illinois.gov.

AP
This handout photo provided by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum shows a rare, signed copy of Emancipation Proclamation.

A Juneteenth Jazz Celebration, 4301 W. Washington: The New Mount Pilgrim MB Church will host a jazz celebration honoring historian and educator Haki R. Madhubuti with a performance by Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few, 2-4 p.m. June 19. The event is free, but register for tickets at eventbrite.com.

Beverly/Morgan Park Juneteenth Family Festival and Black business Crawl 2021, 11000 S. Longwood and 2407 W. 111th (Beverly Arts Center): The event includes storytelling, art, drumming circles, food, and activities for kids, along with featured promotion of Black-owned businesses, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Noon – 3 p.m (BAC location), June 19. The event is free; facebook.com/events.

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CMPI Juneteenth Celebration, online: The Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative will host a virtual celebration of diversity in classical music coinciding with Juneteenth. The slate of performers will include composer Xavier Foley and bassist Joseph Conyers, 6:45 p.m. June 19. The event is free; app.mobilecause.com.

Eden Place Nature Center, 4417 S. Stewart: The Fuller Park venue will host a Father’s Day Juneteenth celebration, The picnic outing includes storytelling, and music from the 64th Street Drummers and the Nancy Green Team Performers, 1-3 p.m. June 20. The event is free; edenplacenaturecenter.org

Evanston’s Juneteenth Parade, 1801 Main, Evanston: This year’s parade, which has the theme, “A journey towards real reparations,” kicks off at the Robert Crown Center and proceeds north on Dodge Avenue to Simpson Street, east on Simpson Street to the Morton Civic Center. 11 a.m. June 19. The event is free; cityofevanston.org.

Fred!, online: The SPAA (Speakers Publishers & Authors Association)Theater & Performing Arts Center will host “Fred!” a virtual musical celebrating the life and times of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, 7 p.m. June 19. $10 cover charge; eventbrite.com.

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Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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