RALEIGH, N.C. — The term Juneteenth is a blend of the words June and 19th. The holiday also has been called Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day.
It commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, with the news that the Civil War had ended and slaves were now free.
While the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the South in 1863, it wasn't enforced in many places until after the end of the Civil War two years later. Confederate soldiers surrendered in April 1865, but word didn't reach the last enslaved black people until June 19, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to Galveston, Texas.
Celebrations have typically included parades, barbecues, concerts and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation. But after massive demonstrations over George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police, there has been a seismic shift to further elevate black voices. That desire is being felt as states and cities move to make Juneteenth an official paid holiday.
Although many in-person events have been changed due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are some ways you can still celebrate.
June 18: Lunch and Learn Celebrating Juneteenth
- The Charlotte Museum of History will welcome Historic Stagville State Historic Site Assistant Site Manager Khadija McNair to explore the enduring legacy of Juneteenth during virtual event. You can watch it via Zoom
. Located in Durham, Stagville was part of one of the largest plantations in the South pre-Civil War. While Stagville isn't hosting its annual Juneteenth events, you can still tour the grounds Tuesday through Saturday at various times. Tours this week will focus on freedom, emancipation and the legacies of slavery.
June 19: Juneteenth Open Air Market in Durham
- This event will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. at 117 Hunt St. and include vendors, music, food and drink. Proceeds will help those displaced from McDougald Terrace.
June 19: Town of Carrboro Juneteenth Program -
Current and former African American elected officials of Orange County will share a "Resolution in Recognition of 400 Years of the African American Story." This resolution will be read by the elected officials, who will then recognize past and present African American elected officials in Orange County. You can watch the event on the town's YouTube channel.
June 19: #TheBounceBackRDU
- This virtual storytelling event will stream live on YouTube and Facebook
starting at 7 p.m. Friday. It will feature eight African Americans sharing stories about a time they fell down and they bounced back. The series is produced by Alexus Rhone, founder of Truth Meet Story, LLC, in partnership with Raleigh Arts and SEEK Raleigh.
June 19: Juneteenth Farm Tours -
Off the Grid in Color is offering free tours of its farm in Moncure in Chatham County on Juneteenth. You can explore 10 acres of land. Masks must be worn and groups are limited to a maximum of eight people.
June 20: Durham Counts: Juneteenth Census Parade
- My Black Counts NC, the Durham Complete Count Committee, SpiritHouse NC, El Centro Hispano, You Can Vote and others are hosting this parade starting 11 a.m. at the Durham Public Health Lot, 414 E. Main St. in Durham.