Jared Reedy, Aim Hometown Innovations Contributor

The Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1st, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln, declared the freedom of all slaves in Confederate states. The Proclamation paved the way for the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery nationwide. It was not until Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19th, 1865, that the news of emancipation reached all enslaved people in the United States.

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day, or Freedom Day, is an annual holiday celebrated on June 19th in the United States. The day is a remembrance and celebration for African Americans across the United States—a time to reflect on the progress made towards racial equality and to recognize the ongoing struggles for justice and freedom. In 2021, Juneteenth became the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

Hoosier towns and cities statewide are celebrating Juneteenth. Since 2015, the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis has offered free admission to their Juneteenth and Jazz Community Celebration. The event this year is on Saturday, June 17th from 11:00am-4:00pm. The Global Village Welcome Center will be hosting a free Juneteenth event on Saturday, June 24th from 12:00pm-4:00pm.

Outside of Indianapolis, Tapawingo Park in Lafayette will host a Juneteenth Celebration of Liberation with free food, a community choir, double dutch, interactive art show, workshops for drum circles and mixed media art, and a loctician competition featuring the growing, maintenance, and styling of dreadlocks.

Additionally, Madison is having a Juneteenth Weekend Celebration. This two-day event commences at 8:00am on June 17th with a 5K Run/Walk that winds past historical African American landmarks. The event also includes a picnic on the National Historic Landmark Lanier Mansion’s lawn with a proclamation by Mayor Bob Courtney and Juneteenth spoken word by Richey Armande.

Also in Southern Indiana, Jeffersonville is celebrating Juneteenth with a performance by Lil Jon at the RiverStage on Sunday, June 18th.

These are just a sample of Juneteenth celebrations Indiana municipalities have to offer their citizens. You can check out your local community’s website for celebrations in your area!

The Terminal