(WXYZ) — Many celebrations will be held around metro Detroit in honor of Juneteenth, the day in 1865 when the remaining enslaved African Americans were notified that they were free, nearly two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, which abolished slavery.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation declaring June 19 as Juneteenth Celebration Day in Michigan.
Juneteenth originated on June 19, 1865, when Union Army General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston, where he read General Order #3, stating that all slaves were free, and that former masters and slaves were absolutely equal in personal and property rights. Acting as the date of emancipation, June 19th also became a long-standing day of celebration, meant to honor African-American resilience and the end of slavery.
Several events will be held in the metro Detroit area on June 19:
- The Charles H. Wright Museum is one of six leading Black museums that will launch a digital commemoration, BLKFREEDOM.org, which will premiere at 12 p.m.
- In addition to hosting Juneteenth events all week, the city of Detroit will conclude the week with a Freedom Rally at Spirit Plaza at 10 a.m.
- The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is partnering with D. Cipher to host “Arising: A Juneteenth Celebration” from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Campbell Terrace along the Dequindre Cut.
- A youth-led protest, Route to Growth, will be held at Detroit Police Department's Third Precinct from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Detroit Action will host an online event at 2 p.m. that will address the history, status and solutions to systemic racism. Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist will also speak about the current state of criminal justice reform.