Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in America.

After the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, owners in many isolated areas kept word from their slaves so that they would not flee. On June 19, 1865, some of the last slaves in America were freed when the news at last reached Confederate Galveston, Texas. Since that day, Juneteenth has been celebrated to honor the African Americans who built this nation.

Juneteenth Celebration in Cedar Rapids

The 2017 Juneteeth celebration will take place June 16-17 at the African American Museum of Iowa and Viola Gibson Park.

Friday, June 16

Free Evening Admission, 4:00pm-6:30pm
African American Museum of Iowa

Juneteenth Education Day, 6:30pm-8:30pm
African American Museum of Iowa

The AAMI will host a screening of the Netflix original documentary “13th.” In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists, and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom. Viewer discretion is advised for audiences younger than 15 years old. Karl Cassell, President/CEO, Horizons A Family Service Alliance, will host a discussion following the screening.

Saturday, June 17

Juneteenth Festival, 11 am to 4 p.m.
Viola Gibson Park

Enjoy a variety of food vendors, a health station, community information booths and live performances by jazz performer Kevin Burt, magician Zach Percell, and spoken word artist Micah Ariel James. Children’s activities include face painting with Princess Pride, balloon art with TJ the Clown, crafts and more.