Celebrating Juneteenth 2023

In recent years, a growing number of communities, including Durham, are recognizing the significance of Juneteenth, the effective end of slavery in our country. Signed into law on January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation granted freedom to all enslaved people in the Confederacy. But this freedom did not reach all Confederate states until federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to enforce it on June 19, 1865 – now known as Juneteenth. Considered the longest-running African American holiday, Juneteenth became a federal holiday in June 2021, and will be observed by the City of Durham, Durham County, and many local organizations on June 19. This holiday gives us the opportunity to celebrate the freedom, history, and culture of African Americans and to reflect on the enduring impact that slavery has left on our country. There are a variety of ways you can recognize Juneteenth here in Durham – from live performances to educational events to festivals and cookouts. We invite all Durhamites to take part in recognizing this holiday by checking out Discover Durham’s roundup of ways to celebrate, learn, and reflect.

– City of Durham, 2022

As we celebrate Juneteenth, it is important for us to remember what it meant in 1865 to the newly freed people. To them it was a time of new beginnings, a time of resilience, a time for innovation, a time to build, and a time to protect. The momentum of the symbolism of Juneteenth can be found in Durham, North Carolina just thirty-three years later as the Hayti residential and business community was emerging as a thriving district for African Americans to flourish with autonomy, pride, strength,  while using their labor and talents to build one of the nation’s wealthiest Black Wall Streets. Hayti was a place where African Americans developed and found community, resources, jobs, education, and health care. It was an epicenter of social, political, economic, and religious prosperity.

Dr. Jim C. Harper, II, Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at North Carolina Central University and Museum of Durham History board member

Juneteenth is our country’s second Independence Day, and has only recently been widely recognized by Americans outside of the Black community. Historically known for African American success in business and education, Durham certainly knows how to bring Juneteenth festivities to the forefront of our city. Celebrate Juneteenth by checking out the events below this holiday weekend, with plenty more resources at Discover Durham.

One of Durham’s oldest Juneteenth Celebrations happens every year at the Historic Stagville Plantation, a great humanities partner of the Museum. Join them on Saturday, the 17th, for their 18th Annual Juneteenth Celebration, with festivities beginning in the morning and going throughout the afternoon.

Juneteenth Block Party with Triangle Pop-Up Market

  • Taking place on the 17th, this is a great way to support local artisans in the RTP.

Preservation Durham’s Civil Rights Walking Tour

  • From our friends at Preservation Durham, this is a great opportunity to learn about the history of Juneteenth.

Braggtown Juneteenth Celebration

  • Taking place on the 18th, for those in and around the Braggtown neighborhoods.

West End Juneteenth Celebration

  • Taking place on the 19th, this event is right across the street from the Pauli Murray Center.

Party in the Park: Juneteenth Edition

  • Also taking place in the RTP, a fun time for everyone in the South Durham area.

Bull City Juneteenth Parade

  • Starting on NC Central’s campus, this free event is a perfect celebration of the holiday.

Rest and Release in Blackness: Hayti Celebration

  • Join the Hayti Heritage Center for their all-day celebration of Juneteenth on Third Friday.

Golden Belt Campus Juneteenth Celebration

  • A fun-filled day of entertainment happening on the Golden Belt Campus both Saturday and Sunday.
← Older Newer →
blog comments powered by Disqus