Juneteenth celebrations in Memphis commemorate end of slavery

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Juneteenth, June 19, celebrates the end of slavery in the U.S.

It specifically recognizes the day the Emancipation Proclamation was officially enforced, ending slavery in Texas.

On Wednesday, the U.S. House voted to establish Juneteenth as a federal holiday. President Biden then signed the bill into law Thursday.

Several Juneteenth celebrations are taking place across Memphis.

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On Friday at 11 a.m., the National Civil Rights Museum will virtually join nine leading Black museums and historical institutions from coast to coast at BLKFREEDOM.org, according to a release from NCRM.

On Friday and Saturday, the Memphis Juneteenth Festival will take place at Health Sciences Park.

“It’s a good thing for our kids and children to see, that the younger ones with Juneteenth and other holidays to come up for what this day is for because the history behind it, you have the opportunity to tell them as to why,” said Annie Walker who’s attending Juneteenth.

This is a historic day for Memphis because the very park where Confederate General Nathan Bedford’s statue once stood is now the home of Juneteenth.

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“I promise you that after 28 years of us doing the Juneteenth festival, this feels like freedom because where once on the ground where we couldn’t even be at, now we’re celebrating Juneteenth,” said Juneteenth organizer Telisa Franklin.

“It’s very exciting and it’s good to be free because we can’t be stuck like that,” said 7-year-old Kai Flynn.

Friday’s festivities are going on until 10 p.m. Friday.

Expect vendors, a kids’ zone and live music.

A 1K run/walk will take place Saturday at 10 a.m.

A Juneteenth Shop Black Festival will take place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Fourth Bluff Park on Front Street, according to Cynthia Daniels and Co.

The festival features food trucks, food and shopping vendors and live music.

For a full list of other events, visit Memphis Travel’s website.

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