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 17, 2024

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.


Georgia officially recognized Juneteenth as a holiday in 2011. To celebrate, Juneteenth Atlanta will host its twelfth  annual Juneteenth Parade and Music Festival in Centennial Olympic Park June 21-23. 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 on June 22 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.

Closer to home, your family can enjoy the Norcross Juneteenth Celebration on Wednesday, June 19th from 10am-11am at the Cultural Arts & Community Center as we celebrate the strength, endurance, and perseverance of African American people and their connection to the African Diaspora. Experience a specially curated program featuring educational performances by the Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt Guild,  Storyteller Sistah Olufemi and Violinist Carey Durham.  Plus, a performance by Giwayen Mata  the all-sistah, dance, percussion and vocal ensemble group.

Delve into the rich traditions of African American quilting, soul-stirring drumming, captivating storytelling and more as we honor the legacy of Juneteenth. Be sure to explore the extraordinary lineup of performers below and delve deeper into their backgrounds and talents. Each artist brings a unique blend of skill and passion to the stage, promising an unforgettable experience for all. Click HERE for more information.

Don't worry if you can't make it in person—we'll be livestreaming the event, so you can be a part of the excitement no matter where you're located. Simply click HERE to join the livestream and immerse yourself in the magic of the performances from the comfort of your own home. Get ready to be celebrate and learn!

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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