Where to celebrate Juneteenth 2022 in metro Detroit

From film screenings to family-friendly festivals, many cities and organizations are hosting Juneteenth events this year. Here’s a few ways to honor the occasion.

(Left to right) Shayla Tyler and Allimatou Coleman perform a traditional West African dance during the Wayne State University Juneteenth kickoff event, on Jun. 13, at Wayne State University, in Detroit.

From film screenings to family-friendly festivals, many cities and organizations are hosting Juneteenth events this year. Juneteenth commemorates June 19th, 1865 when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas months after Confederate soldiers surrendered, ending the Civil War. The event took place more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed enslaved Black people in southern states. Here’s a few ways to honor the occasion.

Celebrate

The cities of Ferndale and Hazel Park are teaming up for an event on Saturday at Green Acres Park. The event includes poetry reading by Ferndale and Hazel Park students, live performances from electric guitarist Deekah Roxolydian and singer-songwriter George Montrelle. Food trucks 4 Burrito, The Detroit Smoothie Spot and Kalipha’s Mobile Kitchen will provide the eats.

The City of Southfield Parks & Recreation Department along with the Southfield Public Library and Southfield Historical Society present a Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday on the front lawn of the Southfield Municipal Campus. The family-friendly event begins at noon and will feature a Tuskegee Airmen presentation, videos of community stakeholders reading quotations from Black leaders such as Sojourner Truth to Barack Obama, a drumming workshop, live music and more.

Head to the Dequindre Cut for a Juneteenth celebration on Sunday. This year’s event features live music by Lu Fuki & Divine Providence, an Afro-Cuban dance workshop with Yolanda Perez, and a vinyl DJ set with WhoDat. There will also be food, drinks and vendors onsite at the Cut’s Freight Yard.

The City of Detroit, Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance, Detroit Branch NAACP, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Juneteenth Jubilee, Detroit Means Business and Eastern Market Development Corporation have partnered to celebrate Juneteenth in Detroit. Juneteenth Jubilee Detroit kicks off a weekend of festivities on Friday with the Rhythm & Art Block Party at Eastern Market Brewing. See visual and musical artists Lolly Mariah, BLAC Natiives, Pejay Eugene, Asiana, Eccentric Danny, and DJ Nefyu, and enjoy food trucks, a photobooth, music, poetry and more.

The City of Detroit is hosting a Juneteenth Freedom Fest Sunday at Eastern Market. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when the last African American slaves were freed in the United States. The festivities will include poetry readings, food and a shopping area called Black Bottom Row where people will be able to buy goods from local Black-owned small businesses. The event will also feature musical performances by the hip-hop group Slum Village, singer-songwriter Charity and gospel artist John Houston. Erica Hill, the deputy director for the City of Detroit’s Office of Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity, says Juneteenth marks a milestone from more than 150 years ago, but there’s still work to be done today. Read more about the event and listen to WDET reporter Laura Herberg’s interview with Hill.

Canton Township will host its inaugural Juneteenth Celebration during Canton’s Liberty Fest on Saturday at the Heritage Park Amphitheater. In a tradition dating back to the early 1900s, the Divine 9 Yard Show will present a step, stroll or hop honoring historically Black fraternities and sororities. In addition, festival-goers will also have the opportunity to shop local, Black-owned businesses throughout the event. The celebration will culminate with a special performance by Detroit’s Queen of Blues, Thornetta Davis, which will also be held from 8-10 p.m. on the Heritage Park Amphitheater stage. Admission and parking are free.

The 2022 Wayne State University Juneteenth Closing Celebration will take place 2-5 p.m. Friday. Events will include a Freedom March from Wayne State University Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights to Gullen Mall, an African dance and drums performance and a networking event.


Photos: Wayne State University kicks off Juneteenth celebration


Shop

Juneteenth Jubilee Detroit — a group of passionate people committed to commemorating Juneteenth by honoring the experiences and contributions of African Americans through celebrating, educating and empowering community members — continues the celebration with the Juneteenth Jubilee Stroll on the Livernois Avenue of Fashion at noon Saturday. The unique shopping day will feature 40-plus businesses in one of the oldest Black business districts in the country. Each participating store will offer a discount, giveaway, entertainment for patrons. There will also be a live podcast, concierge stations, a kid’s village with activities and programming, a main stage with local entertainers, a health and wellness fair, a marketplace for local vendors and an artists’ hub

Dance

Groove to the sounds of Gary Chandler at the Juneteenth Dance Party 7-9 p.m. Friday then stay for a screening of “Respect.” The film chronicles Aretha Franklin’s career from a young child singing in her father’s church’s choir to becoming the Queen of Soul.

Support

The Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund kicks off another year of fundraising to help Detroit Black farmers on Saturday at the Juneteenth Black Farmers Market. Held at Oakland Avenue Urban Farm, the event will feature produce, vendors, food, live performances and youth activitie as well as the 2020 and 2021 DBFLF awardees.

Learn

How did the freedom that Juneteenth celebrates emerge? Dr. Errol A. Henderson, a Wayne State University graduate, will give a Juneteenth keynote address titled: Did Slave Revolution Win the Civil War? from 2-4 p.m. Wednesday at the David Adamany Undergraduate Library Bernath Auditorium to kick off WSU’s observation of the holiday.

Join the Organization of Black Alumni and the Wayne State University Alumni Association in recognizing Juneteenth at 5:30 p.m. Thursday with Juneteenth: A Look into the Past and Future at the David Adamany Undergraduate Library Bernath Auditorium. Participants will celebrate and network during the pre-reception, and reflect and learn during an informative panel discussion. Panelists will explore the legacy, historical journey and impact that Juneteenth has had on society and the university.

Watch

Emagine’s Juneteenth Film Festival aims to honor Black actors and actresses, writers, directors and filmmakers. Running through June 30, the festival takes place locally at Emagine Royal Oak. Upcoming films include “Uncle Drew,” “Coming 2 America,” “Just Mercy,” and “Sorry to Bother You.”

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  • Dorothy Hernandez is Digital Editor for 101.9 WDET, creating digital editorial content. Her love of radio began when she had a radio show in college when she and her roommate played '80s music in the middle of the night.