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Juneteenth (June 19, 1865) is when enslaved African Americans of Galveston, Texas learned they were free. The news erupted into a history-making celebration known as “Juneteenth.” The formerly enslaved African Americans rejoiced and declared that day “Freedom Day,” “Emancipation Day,” or Juneteenth (“June” plus “nineteenth”).

It had been nearly two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation that enslaved Texans learned that they were in fact free. That hopeful day in June marked the end of slavery and the beginning of freedom.

Juneteenth celebrates and commemorates Black culture and reinforces Black history as American history. Juneteenth creates space for education, advocacy, and healing. Celebrating Juneteenth provides a unifying platform for all Americans to celebrate our common bond of freedom.

 In 2008, along with a group of community residents, Mayor Rory Hoskins founded the Annual Forest Park Juneteenth Pool Party. Since then, the annual event has energized other surrounding communities to host their own celebrations in honor of Juneteenth’s historical significance.

Learn More About Juneteenth

What is Juneteenth?
The official site of the Forest Park Juneteenth committee.

Reimaging Freedom in America: a candid conversation about Juneteenth
A recording of a program held in 2021 for Black History Month discussing the importance of celebrating Juneteenth.

What is Juneteenth? documentary

What is Juneteenth: a guide to activism and advocacy

Illinois House Passes Juneteenth Holiday Bill (May 2021)

Juneteenth for Young Readers

So You Want to Learn about Juneteenth? by Derrick Bryson Taylor
This June 15, 2020 New York Times article outlines what Juneteenth is, its history, how it is celebrated, as well as its importance in 2020.

History of Juneteenth
The Juneteen.com is a comprehensive site with historical information as well as a collection of Juneteenth events.

Why Celebrating Juneteenth is More Important Now than Ever by P.R. Lockhart
This 2018 VOX article includes a discussion with Karlos Hill, professor of African American studiesn at the University of Oklahmom and the author of Beyond the Rope: The Impact of Lynching on Black Culture and Memory on why Juneteenth is an important holiday.

What is Juneteenth, How Is It Celebrated, and Why Does it Matter? by Jameelah Nasheed
This 2019 Teen Vogue article outlines the history of Juneteenth, how it is celebrated, and why.

Juneteenth Events

Forest Park Juneteenth Pool Party 
Saturday, June 10 from 6:45 – 10 pm
Forest Park Aquatic Center
7501 Harrison St, Forest Park, IL

Juneteenth & Father’s Day Festival
Monday, Jun 19 from 2-6 pm
639 N Wolf Rd 639 North Wolf Road
Hillside, IL 60162

Liberated: a Juneteenth Celebration
Organized by I Am Black Art
Saturday, June 17 from 11 am-2 pm
Forest Park Public Library
7555 Jackson Blvd
Forest Park IL 60130

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