We are convinced that Juneteenth is one of the most important historical dates in United States history. Unfortunately, many citizens have little or no knowledge of its meaning.
Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in the state of Texas and other parts of the southwest.
Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or a special day of observance in 45 states. It is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States of America.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of our Juneteenth observation, here in Ann Arbor. It is our goal to make this year’s celebration the biggest and best one ever. Our day of celebration is scheduled for Saturday, June 15th from noon until 5 PM at historic Wheeler Park. Wheeler Park is historic because it is named for Ann Arbor’s first and only African American Mayor, Albert H. Wheeler. Sadly, he passed away shortly before our first Juneteenth Celebration in 1994.
Juneteenth traditions in Ann Arbor include public readings, singing of traditional songs, historical re-enactments, cake walks, performances by youth and adults, several different food choices, vendors and something for every member of your family.
We believe that this year’s celebration will not be successful without your involvement. Therefore, we are all looking forward to celebrating with you.
Yours in collaboration,
William V. Hampton