Juneteenth at The Wright
Education. Economic Independence. Community Engagement. These themes define our Juneteenth Jubilee Freedom Weekend, held on June 18 and June 19, 2022!
Education will be highlighted with holiday history and folkways, as well as our Treasure Hunt and on-site programs. We will be encouraging and supporting economic independence by featuring black businesses and job opportunities. Community engagement is exemplified by our national and community partnerships, which include The League of Women Voters, We The People of Detroit, and Black Farmers' Land Trust.
National Partner Presentation
Based on foundational themes of Black Americans, “We The People Echo Freedom” is our 3- to 5-minute piece of the national presentation.
Note: Due to precautions surrounding Covid-19, The Wright will be offering both online and in-person events, including presentations that span a range of topics and activities.
- Saturday, June 18th
- Families will be encouraged to visit historic sites around downtown and near East Side Detroit. The first 5 families to register will receive a ‘Juneteenth Gift Bag’ from the Wright Museum!
Onsite at the Wright
- Presentation(s) from the League of Women Voters—these short presentations focus on voting rights issues and information in the GMT
- Vendors’ Marketplace—this event will be held outside if construction permits. If not, it will held on the Rotunda.
- Sunday, June 19th
Concert at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
- Musical performances spanning time from 1860's until today
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
By the President of the United States of America:
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.
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 more than two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
Image: Austin History Center
Stream our Juneteenth Playlist on SpotifyEnjoy the music on Spotify free of charge, then share the playlist with your family and friends!
New BlkFreedom Film, "We The People" to Debut on June 18thBlkFreedom, a coalition of Black museums and institutions nationwide, continues the tradition of exploring freedom, justice, and democracy with a new film entitled, "We The People."
Shop our Juneteenth CollectionShow your appreciation for Juneteenth with shirts, hoodies and more that celebrate the ending of slavery in the United States.
Plus, with Shop Pay, purchases from $50 - $1,000 can be made in 4 easy installments.
WHAT DOES FREEDOM MEAN TO YOU?
There are many kinds of freedom: Freedom from enslavement, Freedom of Choice, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, and Political Freedom, to name a few. In these turbulent times, it is important not only to amplify the voices of our youth but also to support their long-term efforts to organize their communities.
The Wright Museum asked one question to children everywhere: What does freedom mean to you? Check out this stellar response from 9-year-old Cameron!