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(Mrs. Gracy Murray Stephenson/Austin History Center, Austin Public Library)

Juneteenth Celebration, June 19, 1900

Austin will have a virtual Juneteenth festival on Friday called "Stay Black and Live," organized in collaboration with several organizations.


The event will emphasize black freedom and preservation, as well as the significance of the current climate. The day is normally celebrated with a parade.

Featuring music, poetry readings, a raffle and food distribution, the event will run from 6:00-10:00 p.m. It is hosted by the Carver Museum & Cultural Center, Six Square, Jump On It, and the Greater East Austin Youth Association. Some 600 plates of BBQ will be distributed by 10,000 Fearless First Responders beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Carver Museum.

The event will be available for streaming across Facebook, Instagram and the Juneteenth website.

Juneteenth is a celebration of the end of slavery Texas on June 19, 1865, over two years after slaves were declared free nationwide with the Emancipation Proclamation.

"Colloquially known as 'The Black 4th of July,' Juneteenth marks the beginning of an African American journey to carve a new place in society for free people to shape identities independent of racial caricature, eradicate "slave culture, promote ethnic pride, and create economic prosperity," the Juneteenth website says. "The Juneteenth Festival is not only a celebration of emancipation and commemoration of a distinctive past, but an opportunity for future generations to learn about our history."

Juneteenth has long been celebrated in Austin. It was established a state holiday in 1980.


There are national calls for Juneteenth to be established as a federal holiday.

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