Juneteenth is known as America's second Independence Day

By Becky Samford, Duluth, Norcross, Suwanee, Johns Creek, Peachtree Corners MK, Eraina Ferguson, MK Torrance, Calif. & Brenna Gutell, MK Conejo Valley - Malibu, CA June 7, 2023

Juneteenth is a celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. It commemorates June 19, 1865 — the day the end of the Civil War was announced in Texas. It is known as our country’s second Independence Day and in 2021, Juneteenth National Independence Day was designated a U.S. Federal holiday.


In 2011 Georgia officially recognized Juneteenth as a holiday. To celebrate, Juneteenth Atlanta will host its eleventh annual Juneteenth Parade and Music Festival in Centennial Olympic Park June 16-18. There will be national artists and speakers on two stages, an artists market, food trucks, wellness fields including yoga, martial arts and meditation, a 5k Freedom Run/Walk/Roll, High School Battle of the Band Contest and 40+ Double Dutch Club performances. A 3-acre children's activity area that includes soccer, basketball, bouncy houses along with giveaways like kites and hula-hoops. Games and activities all day everyday for our youth! All FREE! Plus, FIREWORKS WILL LIGHT UP THE SKY IN CELEBRATION!  

Click HERE for the full festival schedule.

The Black History Parade will start at 12 noon at 228 Capitol Ave SW, at the Liberty plaza, across the street from our state Capitol building. The parade will move up Capitol Ave to Decatur Street and make a left turn onto Decatur Street, Decatur Street turns into Marietta Street and continues down Marietta Street to Baker Street, Makes a right turn on Baker Street, and makes a right turn on Centennial Olympic Park Drive and concludes at Centennial Olympic Park.

Enjoy a weekend of family, friends, and fun. Bring your camera, chairs, blankets, pillows (no food, beverages or coolers are allowed) and most of all your love. They will have everything else set up and waiting for your arrival!

Click HERE for details, parking, parade floats and participants.

 Atlanta History Center's Juneteenth FREE Jubilee on the Lawn will be on Sunday, June 18 from 8am to 5pm. 

Our Juneteenth: Jubilee on the Lawn celebration will feature Gullah Geechee tales, African American folktales, and more by LaDoris Bias-Davis , Face Painting By India, and music by DJ Champion and Southern Komfort Brass Band! 🎶 Delicious  Southern bites from The Funnel Cake Guys and Soul Truckin’ Good will be available beginning at noon. This program is FREE and appropriate for all ages. Bring the family and celebrate Juneteenth (and Father’s Day) with us! 

Learn more and register for free HERE.  

Closer to home, your family can enjoy the Norcross Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 17th from 2:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Thrasher Park as we celebrate the strength, endurance, and perseverance of African American people and their connection to the African Diaspora. There will be live music, food, vendors and activities for all ages.  plus, a Youth Village which includes
 fun activities such as games, arts & crafts, face painting, bouncy houses and more! Plus, a Youth Village which includes fun activities such as games, arts & crafts, face painting, bouncy houses and more!  This event is FREE  and open to the public, and we encourage everyone to attend and learn more about the history and culture of Juneteenth!

Learn about the culture; traditions, music, art, food and come have just plain good ole family fun. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets. Join us, Gwinnett NAACP, RevUp, OneDayOnTheNawf along with our host The City of Norcross making all of us, "Better Together".

Join the Duluth Branch Library in partnership with the City of Duluth to learn about Juneteenth and celebrate African-American culture. What is the significance of Juneteenth? What are the traditions for that holiday? Join the Duluth Branch staff and the City of Duluth to learn about how Juneteenth came about as well as how African-Americans honor the historical value and meaning of the holiday. Featuring storyteller Sharyn Riggs and jazz musician Dwan Bosman.

Johns Creek Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 17 from 3 PM to 9 PM at Newtown Park. 

Click HERE for more details.

 United Ebony Society Gwinnet County  Family Fun Juneteenth Celebration in Lawrenceville:

Click HERE to see a list of many more celebrations around the greater Atlanta area. 


A good way to explain the meaning of Juneteenth to children is to talk about the importance of human beings having a level of freedom in their day to day lives.  There are many ways to celebrate and bring awareness of Juneteenth to your family.

I've included information below on local and virtual events, books, videos, resources to learn more along with recipes so your family can join in the celebration of this important holiday celebrating freedom and commemorating these historic events. 


Coming together as a family for a special meal and discussion is a good way to celebrate Juneteenth, especially if young kids are involved. This is a great way to explain the importance and meaning of the holiday while encouraging healthy self-reflection techniques. 

Need some ideas on traditional Juneteenth foods? 

68 Recipes From Black Creators to Celebrate Juneteenth

Juneteenth Food And Drink Is Red For A Reason

Macaroni KID Cooks - Ice Cold Summer Treat Watermelon Granita

Macaroni KID - Watermelon Ice Pops


As you explore different ways to bring awareness about Juneteenth, be sure to watch or read material before you introduce it to your child to make sure it makes sense on their level. 

Learn about the holiday's meaning

Here's a catchy kid-friendly song from Sesame Street that explains Juneteenth:

Other Resources:

Books for Kids:

For younger kids, try books like "Juneteenth for Mazie", about a little girl who is upset about restrictions like bedtime (see the Read Aloud video below); and "All Different Now," the story of the day freedom arrived in Texas from a little girl's perspective and Juneteenth Jamboree is another.

Colors of Us website shared:  14 Children’s Books celebrating Juneteenth for Elementary School, Middle and High School and Juneteenth Activity Books.

3. DRAW:

Have children create a drawing of what freedom and kindness looks like for them. 

Similar to other holidays like July 4th and Memorial Day, Juneteenth is an important day in American history. Freedom is an important part of our history. 

No matter where you celebrate, have a Happy Juneteenth!!

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