On May 18, 2021 the Ann Arbor City Council unanimously voted to recognize Juneteenth as a city recognized holiday. View Resolution to Approve the City of Ann Arbor's Operational Adoption of Juneteenth as a Recognized and Commerated Annual Holiday. You can also read more about this at this MLive article.
What is Juneteenth?
On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation declared all enslaved people in the Confederate States legally free. Enslaved African Americans in Union-held states were not covered under Lincoln’s proclamation and were not officially freed until the establishment of the Thirteenth Amendment, which formally abolished slavery nationwide on Dec. 5, 1865.
Union soldiers, many of whom were black, marched onto plantations and across cities in the south reading small copies of the Emancipation Proclamation spreading the news of freedom. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control. As a result, in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, black people were enslaved for two more years. The news finally came on June 19, 1865, when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state, were free by executive decree. This day came to be known as "Juneteenth," by people in Texas.
Juneteenth marks America’s second Independence Day. Unlike the Fourth of July it is not recognized as a federal holiday. But Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday in all but 4 states: Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. (From https://www.aachm.org/)
For more information and history, contact:
The African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County
Email: [email protected], Leave a message at 734-761-1717
Text or call: 734-680-2128
Mail: PO Box 130724, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Since 1994, the NAACP has hosted a Juneteenth event at Wheeler Park. Wheeler Park is historic because it is named for Ann Arbor’s first and only African American Mayor, Albert H. Wheeler. Sadly, he passed away shortly before the first Juneteenth Celebration observed in Ann Arbor in 1994. Juneteenth traditions in Ann Arbor include public readings, singing of traditional songs, historical re-enactments, cake walks, performances by youth and adults, several different food choices, vendors and something for every member of your family. (From http://www.a2naacp.org).
A recording of the entire 2020 virtual Juneteenth celebration hosted by
the Ann Arbor Branch of the NAACP and Protectors of Equality in Government (PEG), can be found
here. Below is a quick highlight of the event.
2020 Juneteenth Walk For Racial Justice Summary
Continuing Education and Resources
This includes interesting information on the Underground Railroad,
Signal of Liberty (anti-slavery newspaper), Union Church, Katherine Crawford, and Albert and Emma Wheeler.
Read and participate in Oren Jay Sofer's piece on
10 Things White People Can Do to Work for Racial Justice. Also included is a list of
anti-racism resources for you to read, watch, listen to, organizations to get involved with, and places to donate.
In 2017, Corinne Schutack compiled a list of
97 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice. Start with one, do a couple, or challenge yourself to complete the list.
Get Involved with a Board or Commission
Vacancies can be
found here. With over 50 Boards and Commissions, there are plenty of ways to get involved.
Contact your Legislators
From the Area Agency on Aging 1-B,
here is a helpful guide to contact your representatives and legislators along with direct contact information. To find your representatives with your home address use this search tool: https://myreps.datamade.us/
Connect with the Black Lives Matter Movement