Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Gov. Whitmer declares Juneteenth Celebration Day — here's how to commemorate it

Posted By on Tue, Jun 18, 2019 at 12:34 PM

click to enlarge STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation Tuesday, on the 154th anniversary of Juneteenth, to officially declare June 19 as Juneteenth Celebration Day.

“Juneteenth is an important day throughout our nation and Michigan is proud to take part in recognizing the bravery of those who fought for their freedom,” Whitmer said in a press release.



June 19th, 1865, was the day Major General Gordon Granger marched with Union Troops to Galveston, Texas, to liberate the remaining slaves still under the ownership of white slave owners. It was first officially recognized as a holiday in Michigan in 2005 by then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Granholm acknowledged the third Saturday of the month as Juneteenth National Freedom Day.

All throughout the country, reflection, family gatherings, and celebrations are held in honor of Juneteenth. Detroit offers numerous celebrations and events throughout the month — below is a list of 10 celebrations in honor of Juneteenth throughout the city.

Willis Show Bar
This happy hour event will commemorate Juneteenth with drinks by guest bartender, Tangie Jones, and pop-up vegan fare by Spacecat Vstro.
Happy hour begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18; 4156 Third Ave., Detroit; willishowbar.com; No cover.

Spirit Plaza
The official City of Detroit Juneteenth celebration will invite Mayor Mike Duggan, director of civil rights, inclusion, and opportunity Charity Dean, council president pro-tem Mary Sheffield, activities, and performances throughout the day.
Event begins at noon; Spirit of Detroit statue, Two Woodward Ave., Detroit; Event is free and open to the public.

The Garage Detroit
This is a free event hosted by the Great Sankofa and includes music and speakers. All donations will help Black youth, students, and activists travel to Ghana later this year.
Event begins at 6 p.m.; 7615 Oakland Ave., Detroit, eventbrite.com. Event is free with registration.

Strathmore Community Center
This celebration boasts music, food, and speakers.
Event begins at 7 p.m.; 70 W. Alexandrine St. Detroit; eventbrite.com. Admission is $10 or $5 with a canned food donation.

Campus Martius Park
The Free Tour on the Fight for Freedom will celebrate the 154th anniversary of Juneteenth. Conducted by the Black Scroll Network, the tour will take guests to four historically significant Underground Railroad sites throughout Detroit.
Tour begins at noon; 800 Woodward Ave. Detroit; eventbrite.com. Event is free with registration.

Juneteenth March
Hosted by Go Blue America, this March will start on Mack and Woodward, and will end at the Detroit Institute of Arts in Midtown. The event will take just about an hour, with parking available at Whole Foods.
Event begins at 4:45 p.m. at the intersection of Mack and Woodward avenues; Event is free and open to the public.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History


The daylong Juneteenth Jubilee celebration will offer vendors, Zumba, and a kids zone, and will also host workshops and presentations by Dr. Tanya Martin, Donald Ferguson, and the Detroit Association of Black Storytellers. The event will feature dance and musical performances by Que-9, A-Dot, the Marksmen, Detroit School of Arts’ Choralettes, and others.
Event will be held from 1-6 p.m.; 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit; thewright.org. Event is free and open to the public.

Catalpa Oaks Pavilion
This all-day celebration will offer a live DJ, food, games, prizes, and more.
Event will be held from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; 27705 Greenfield Rd., Southfield; Event is free and open to the public.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History 


This ticketed event invites Grammy Award-winning jazz bassist, Robert Hurst, to perform as part of the Wright’s Juneteenth celebration, and they will be joined by the Jubilant Juneteenth Jamboree Band.
Event begins at 7 p.m.; 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit; thewright.org. Tickets are $20.

The XO Room
Hosted by Grits and Gospel, the XO Room will host a social hour with drinks.
Event begins at 6 p.m.; 205 W. Congress St., Detroit, eventbrite.com. Event is free with registration.

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