Family-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth

June 18, 2024
Celebrating Juneteenth Freedom Day Background Event

From an overview of key milestones to a list of exciting events happening in and around Chicago, we’ve put together a collection of child- and family-friendly resources to help parents, educators, and communities celebrate Juneteenth.


History of Juneteenth

Did you know that family reunions in the Black community began as an effort to reunite families whose members had been sold to different plantations during slavery? This is just one example of traditions we might acknowledge without understanding their deep historical significance.

Juneteenth—celebrated on June 19—marks the day that the last enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas, were freed by Union troops in 1865. This was more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves throughout the United States.

Juneteenth is known as “Freedom Day,” and our country’s second independence day. It has long been celebrated by Black Americans, especially in the South. It officially became a holiday in 2021, thanks in large part to 97-year-old-activist Opal Lee, who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2022 for her contributions to making Juneteenth a federal holiday.


Family-Friendly Juneteenth Resources


Discover More Resources for Parents

At Illinois Action for Children, we are committed to supporting and empowering parents. From child care assistance to early learning opportunities, find resources for parents and families:

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