Celebrating Juneteenth With Kids

Juneteenth falls on June 19 and celebrates the abolition of slavery in America.

On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston, Texas, with the news that the Union had won the Civil War and that all enslaved people were now free, Juneteenth.com reports.

While America still has a long way to go in creating equality for Black people, the whole world celebrates this historical moment each year on June 19, which is now known as Juneteenth, or Freedom Day.

There are many ways to teach our kids about Juneteenth and celebrate the holiday. Here, we’ve rounded up some Juneteenth family events and books for your family to explore this year.

Events

Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor are full of events geared toward those looking for ways to celebrate Black culture, commemorate the day and teach kids a bit about our nation’s history.

Here are a few local options.

Juneteenth & Birmingham’s Connection to the Underground Railroad by Baldwin Public Library

June 2, 2022

This virtual event is about two men, George Taylor and Elijah Fish, who worked to abolish slavery in America. Also, learn about Birmingham’s connection to the Underground Railroad in this celebration of Juneteenth.

Curators of our Art: A Juneteenth Celebration at William P. Faust Public Library

June 4, 2022

Join Drs. Micala Evans and Imelda Hunt, of Eastern Michigan University’s Department of Africology and African American Studies, for a discussion about Juneteenth.

Juneteenth Celebration Kit at Troy Public Library in Troy

June 12-19, 2022

Stop by the Troy Public Library any time that week to pick up a Juneteenth activity. No registration required. Available while supplies last.

Curators of our Art: a Juneteenth Celebration

June 15, 2022

Come out to the Plymouth District Library to hear this artistic and historical presentation, which will include an introduction to Juneteenth, information about slavery and more. Registration required.

Curators of our Art: a Juneteenth Celebration

June 15 2022

Join Plymouth District library via Zoom to hear this artistic and historical presentation, which will include an introduction of Juneteenth, slavery and more. Registration required.

Annual Juneteenth Community Celebration at Coleman Center

June 18, 2022

Celebrate Healing Harvest’s 3rd Annual Juneteenth event with Black-owned food trucks, Black-owned vendors, live music, kid’s activities, scholarship giveaways and more.

Celebrate Juneteenth with American Girl Addy at William P. Faust Public Library

June 18, 2022

Kids ages 5 and up will celebrate Juneteenth with American Girl, Addy, at William P. Faust Library. Hear a story about Juneteenth, play a game, make a craft and enjoy a snack. Registration required.

Juneteenth Celebration at Leanna Hicks Public Library

June 18, 2022

Head to the library to join in square dancing lessons, horses and rodeo demonstration, country-style food, information on Juneteenth and more.

Juneteenth Community Celebration at Calvary Presbyterian Church

June 18, 2022

Come and enjoy a family-friendly time in the community at this 2nd annual Juneteenth event. There will be African drumming, African dancing, a mental health speaker, food, DJ, musical performances, vendors, kids zone and more.

Juneteenth Jubilee Freedom Weekend at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

June 18-19, 2022

Celebrate Juneteenth with a weekend of activities including film screenings, live music, a treasure hunt and more.

Juneteenth Mobility Stroll and Roll at City Hall Park

June 18, 2022

Families are encouraged to grab a bike, Vespa, skateboard, scooter or walk to celebrate Juneteenth. The Stroll and Roll will also have an array of fun activities geared toward all ages including a Kid’s Zone and a Mobility Zone as part of the attractions. Registration required.

Madison Heights Juneteenth Celebration at Civic Center Park

June 18, 2022

Families are invited to celebrate Juneteenth with craft activities, face painting, a petting zoo, bounce houses and character impersonations from Taylored Events, LLC. There will also be live music, vendors and food trucks throughout the day.

Unity in the Community Juneteenth Celebration and Slows Bar BQ Food Truck at the Novi Public Library

June 18, 2022

Kids ages 12 and up can join the library for a traveling black history museum, presentations, music, step show, steel pan instrumental, free Harlem burritos from Cornbread Restaurant and more. Enjoy food from Slows Bar BQ food truck, which features their signature dishes of chicken, pulled pork, mac and cheese,

vegetarian options and more.

Annual Dearborn Heights Juneteenth Festival at Richard A. Young Recreation Center

June 19, 2022

Celebrate the heritage, freedom and excellence of African Americans with a day of live entertainment, food trucks, hustle workshops, bounce houses and more.

Juneteenth Fun, Food and Family Marketplace Celebration at Marygrove College

June 19, 2022

Celebrate Juneteenth and Father’s Day with music, food trucks, vendor marketplace, kid activities, card games, contests, corn hole, history tours and more.

Find even more Juneteenth events in our online calendar.

Books

Juneteenth is an important holiday to discuss as a family as we continue to raise anti-racist kids. Here are some Juneteenth books below to add to your family home library.

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson

Photo credit: Amazon
  • Best for ages: 5-9

All Different Now tells the story of the first Juneteenth celebration with beautiful illustrations and through a perspective of a young girl.

Juneteenth for Mazie, by Floyd Cooper

Photo credit: Amazon
  • Best for ages: 6-9

Mazie is celebrating Freedom Day and while she’s tried hearing “no” from her father, he explains to her how her great-great-grandpa Mose heard no even more until he was finally free from slavery.

Juneteenth, by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Drew Nelson

Photo credit: Amazon
  • Best for ages: 7-10

Why was June 19, 1865 such a significant day for enslaved people in Texas? This picture book explains the significance of the Texas event and how it became a holiday celebrated nationally.

Juneteeth Jamboree, by Carole Boston Weatherford

Photo credit: Amazon
  • Best for ages: 8-12

Cassie joins her family to a Juneteenth celebration in their community. There, she learns more about the Texas tradition and why it took so long for enslaved people in the state to hear the news of the Emancipation Proclamation.

This post was originally published in 2020 and is updated regularly.


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