Your Guide to Juneteenth Celebrations in Metro Detroit

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Image credit: City of Detroit

From festivals and community conversations to art and food, find Juneteenth festivities in your neighborhood.

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Saturday is Juneteenth, a commemoration of the day in 1865 when U.S. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and told enslaved people that they were free. The news came two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed enslaved people in Confederate States and five months after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery.

All around metro Detroit, families, friends and communities will be coming together to celebrate the occasion through festivals, community dialogue, dancing and lots of food. Whether you’re looking for an all-day festival, an evening movie, or a cold craft beer, you can find the Juneteenth celebration that fits your vibe below.


Celebrate

Juneteenth in the D, which will be held Saturday at the intersection of Grand River and West Grand Boulevard at the Mbad African Bead Museum, is a family-friendly festival headlined by Motown legend Martha Reeves. Make sure to don your dancing shoes for this all-day celebration featuring local performers.

To kick off a second year of fundraising in support of Black farmers and land ownership, the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund is celebrating Juneteenth with community members and organizations at Oakland Avenue Urban Farm in the North End. The fund raised more than $65,000 last year for Black farmers to purchase and own land. Shop the farmers market, partake in food prepared by chefs and enjoy a performance from Detroit’s own Mollywop.

The Eastside Community Network will celebrate Black history and heritage through storytelling from community elders and speaking out against environmental racism. The rally about environmental racism — featuring speakers Rep. Rashida Tlaib, state Sen. Stephanie Chang and more — will kick off the event. The family-friendly celebration, which runs from 1-4 p.m. at 4401 Conner St., will be filled with food, music, dance, face painting and more. For those who prefer to join in virtually, participants can enjoy the festivities from home.

Thoughts Become Things and Take My Hand are collaborating to honor Juneteenth by providing free resources and giveaways to the Black community at 16065 Hamilton Ave. in Highland Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Giveaways include self-care kits, fresh food boxes and diapers and formula. There will also be resources onsite regarding credit repair, life insurance, mental health and more.

The city of Southfield is celebrating Juneteenth all week long with the Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration, including an art display, virtual scavenger hunt and more. You can find the whole jubilee lineup here.

You can also find community celebrations in Dearborn, Ferndale, West Bloomfield, Romulus, Lathrup Village, Madison Heights, Royal Oak and more. Check your city’s website to find activities near you!


Learn

The Charles H. Wright Museum is hosting its Juneteenth Jubilee Freedom Weekend online and across Detroit Thursday through Sunday. Programming includes a treasure hunt, movies, community conversations and even a dedicated playlist.

All week, the Oakland County Democratic Party is hosting a series of Juneteenth virtual discussions on topics from how mental health affects Black youth to the role of music plays in the fight for Black liberation. The weeklong series culminates in a reflection discussion on Saturday.


Listen

As part of the D.Cipher live summer music series, enjoy live performances from ETTA, Gabriel Brass Band and Tariq Gardner’s Evening Star from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Campbell Terrace on the Dequindre Cut. You can also peruse art from local vendors and learn how to get involved with grassroots initiatives.

The Whiting in Flint will host Damien Escobar, a genre-bending violinist hailing from Jamaica, Queens. From classical to jazz and R & B to hip hop, his live performances span a wide range of musical styles and highlights his innovation as an artist. You can see the concert in-person or join digitally.


Read

Pulitzer Prize winner Annette Gordon-Reed’s “On Juneteenth” provides a historian’s view of the country’s long road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the enormous hardships that African Americans have endured in the century since. She joins historian Jamon Jordan in a conversation about the essential, sweeping story of Juneteenth’s integral importance to U.S. history as part of the Detroit Public Library’s Author Series at 1 p.m. Saturday.


Watch

Bring your own chair or blanket to Campus Martius Park on Friday for a screening of “Concrete Cowboy,” which shares the story of a rebellious teenager finding kinship in a tight-knit Philadelphia community of cowboys.

Miss Juneteenth” chronicles the story of a former beauty queen and single mom as she prepares her teenage daughter for the Miss Juneteenth pageant. You can catch the film on the lawn of the Southfield Parks and Recreation parking lot at 7 p.m. Saturday.


Eat + Drink

Raise a glass of Abolitionist Imperial Stout in honor of Black achievement starting at 4 p.m. Friday at Eastern Market Brewing Co., which partnered with Brewz Brothaz for this event. A portion of proceeds of the Abolitionist Imperial Stout will go toward the Black Farmer Land Fund. Detroit DJ Lady Fantastic will bring the beats from 6-9 p.m. while Smokey Joe’s BBQ will provide the eats.

Taste The Diaspora Detroit, which launched during Black History Month to celebrate Africa’s contribution to American cuisine, is hosting a watch party for the fourth episode of Netflix series “High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America” at 7 p.m. Saturday at Marygrove Conservancy. The episode titled “Freedom” is a culinary journey through Texas that tells the story about the importance of Juneteenth. There will be a moderated conversation following the viewing as well as shoebox meals featuring food from four locally owned Black food businesses.

Good Vibes Lounge is unveiling its backyard for a day party not only celebrating Juneteenth but also a year of being in business. The festivities start at 3 p.m. with drink samples, giveaways, a live DJ and photo booth. The restaurant and bar is at 16801 Harper on the east side.


See

LoveClub is gathering some of Detroit’s best local talent to celebrate Black history, art and culture at this event that aims to serve as a platform for artists and community members. The event at Tangent Gallery/Hastings Street Ballroom in Milwaukee Junction will boast a wide range of musical offerings from house to hip hop as well as artists, vendors and organizations showcasing their work. Grab your ticket here.

Check out the opening of new art exhibit “BAM: My Art Is My Voice and Sisters of the Cloth” at an evening reception at Collected Detroit. The exhibitions will give visual form to Collected Detroit’s roots within the art community in honor of the 156th anniversary of Juneteenth.


Shop

Stroll along the historic Avenue of Fashion for a unique shopping experience supporting Detroit’s Black businesses. Shoppers will also enjoy artists and entertainment, a live podcast taping, Black wellness hub and a raffle.

Support Black businesses in Washtenaw County at the Buy Black Juneteenth Pop-Up Shop from 3-7 p.m. Saturday at Ypsilanti Freighthouse.


Clean-Up

Help spruce up Sarah Garrett Park and the surrounding area from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The park is named after one of the plaintiffs who sued the city over housing discrimination in the 1960s when Hamtramck was making plans for the construction of the Chrysler Freeway and new homes.

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Meta Stange , Digital Content and Engagement Manager

Meta Stange is the Digital Content and Engagement Manager for 101.9 WDET, overseeing all of the station’s digital editorial content. She enjoys reading, making bad jokes, and hanging out with her dog, Salmon.

Meta.Stange@wdet.org Follow @METASTIC

Dorothy Hernandez, Digital Editor

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.


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