Juneteenth is a time to celebrate, gather as a family, reflect on the past and look to the future. The National Museum of African American History and Culture invites you to engage in your history and discover ways to celebrate this holiday.
We will begin this celebration with a rendition of the Negro National Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing."
According to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), "Lift Every Voice and Sing" was written as a poem by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) and then set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954) in 1899. It was first performed in public in the Johnsons’ hometown of Jacksonville, Florida as part of a celebration of Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12, 1900 by a choir of 500 schoolchildren at the segregated Stanton School, where James Weldon Johnson was principal.
What is Juneteenth?
On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas. He informed the enslaved African Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. This momentous occasion has been celebrated as Juneteeth -- a combination of June and 19 -- for over 150 years.
The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth
Find Your Ancestors
This 30-minute session focuses on how to research African American family history beyond 1870 into the era of slavery. We review a variety of research methods, record types and case studies from Virginia and Alabama.
Search the Records of the Freedman’s Bureau
The Freedmen's Bureau Records
Listen to an African American Folk Tale
A Juneteenth Feast
Breaking bread with loved ones is the culmination of any event, and Juneteenth is no different. Here are some ideas for your Juneteenth feast.
I spoke with my grandma to get a sense the ideal Juneteenth picnic menu. My grandmother drew on her memories as a child and June picnics that her church and community group have every year. She stated the menu should consist of easily prepared foods that can sit outside for an extended period without going bad such as salads and pickled side dishes. She emphasized fruits, mainly watermelon and peaches. Lastly, she stated that June is a good time for produce because there are a lot of fruits and vegetables that are coming in for the summer season.Leslie Walker Manager of Social Justice and Scholarly Programs (NMAAHC)
Based on his grandmother’s memories, Leslie recommends a summer picnic that includes:
- Hickory-smoked chicken
- Fried green tomatoes
- Red beans and rice
- Peach Cobbler
The "Sweet Home Café Cookbook" features a Juneteenth menu. These selected recipes reflect the holiday’s Texas roots.
Make A Flag for Juneteenth!
What is a flag?
- A flag is usually a rectangle with a special design and colors. Flags can be a symbol, tell a story, and be used to celebrate special occasions.
- Design a flag for you and your family to use to celebrate Juneteenth!
Click the button below for instructions.