Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration 2024

The Charles H. Wright Museum
of African American History

A Celebration of Freedom

2024 marks the 159th anniversary of Juneteenth! 

Juneteenth at The Wright

Education, Economic Independence, Community Engagement

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is proud to host its annual Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration. Celebrate the power of freedom through special activities designed to highlight and support education, economic independence, and community engagement. In addition to our key Juneteenth activities, visitors can take the opportunity to visit our four current exhibitions. They can follow the footprint of freedom in our core exhibition, And Still We Rise, explore the identity of black men in Double ID, from the CCH Pounder-Kone Collection. They can also enjoy the incredible photography and insight on surviving and thriving in our exhibitions The Audacity to Thrive by Adreinne Waheed, and Paths To Freedom featuring the work of John E. Dowell.

Juneteenth Jubilee Activities & Engagement 

Stage MC: John Bell
10amMorning Stretch Featuring Florella Strings and Tene Dismuke and Andrea Het Heru House
NoonOfficial Welcome: Neil Barclay and sponsors
12:30pmJuneteenth and Detroit History with Jamon Jordan 
1:30pmCommunity Partners Intro
2pmPerformance by Ngoma Za Amen Ra Cultural Dance Theatre
3pmPerformance by Jyn and Juice Band
4pmClose Juneteenth Festivities & Farewell Stage
Youth Activities at indoor & outdoor Café
11am-3pmStory Time! Books and Storytelling (Mama Jatu & TJ ft. Mama Jahra) 
1pm-4pmHorseback Riding with Equestrian Play Time, LLC

Volunteer for Our Jubilee

Be part of the team that makes this celebration run smoothly and help our community celebrate the power of freedom.

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Important Civic Documents

13th Amendment

Abolition of Slavery (1865): Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

14th Amendment

Civil Rights (1868): All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

15th Amendment

Voting Rights (1870): The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.  

Emancipation Proclamation

January 1, 1863

A Transcription

By the President of the United States of America:

A Proclamation.

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

"That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States."

Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

"Juneteenth represents liberation and it belongs to us. It is a constant reminder that Black freedom is predestined, that only we can tell our stories and that there is no freedom, without Black freedom.”
Dannese Mapanda, Chief Operating Officer at The Gathering for Justice
  • What is Juneteenth?

    Juneteenth dates back to June 19, 1865, when Union Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas, with the news that the Civil War ended and the enslaved were now free.

    This announcement was withheld more than two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

    Image: Austin History Center
  • Freedom Freedom Freedom Choir

    Juneteenth 2023 "Freedom, Freedom, Freedom" video was created as a way to focus the purpose of the holiday celebration: the freedom that was finally made real for the formerly enslaved people in Galveston, Texas in 1865 and included a powerful 1831 Detroit Underground Railroad freedom story. The video features the official historian of the City of Detroit, Jamon Jordan and the 'Freedom Choir', a collection of singers from Macedonia Baptist Church who provided the musical backdrop.
  • Spirits Soar Concert

    The concert is a musical review and celebration of genres and songs from the 19th through 21st centuries, and a nod to June as Black Music Month, where friends and family members of the Wright Museum staff display their musical prowess while remembering and celebrating the musicians and history of the music.
  • We Echo Freedom!

    In "We Echo Freedom" youth and historical leaders from Detroit are featured and consider how freedom has resonated since the days of the Underground Railroad until now.
  • Tenacity

    Our award-winning video features the voice and poetry of Jessica Care Moore (who in 2024 was named Detroit Poet Laureate). Reflecting on the idea of freedom through the theme word "Tenacity".
  • Stream our Juneteenth Playlist on Spotify

    Enjoy the music on Spotify free of charge, then share the playlist with your family and friends!

Image slider photo credit: Shutterstock; Detroit Metro Times