Not just another Hallmark holiday

by Keesha Dixon, Juneteenth Festival Co-Chair

Juneteenth? What does that mean? Well, you are in luck! This is an actual holiday that doesn’t require gifts, candy or flowers. Whew! On June 19, 1865, the end of the Civil War officially freed all of the country’s slaves. Juneteenth, a combination of the words June and nineteenth, is also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day.

A bit of background … Though the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves officially on Jan. 1, 1863, It was several years before the news reached slaves in Texas, a Confederate state. But in June of 1865, Texas slaves learned of their new freedom. Officially, Juneteenth is on June 19, but the Indiana State Museum is having its Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Juneteenth Festival will encourage family and friends to celebrate freedom and diversity with arts and crafts, music, storytelling and more. There will be music by Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise and Staci McCrackin & Euphony. Storyteller extraordinaire Stevi Butler, spoken word artist Rehema McNeil and visual artist Walter Lobyn Hamilton will discuss and present their work. There will be craft activities, a Community Organization Fair, documentaries and Civil War re-enactors too!

I hope we will see you at the Indiana State Museum on June 23!