Skip to main content

With the lifting of the state of Minnesota and city of Minneapolis mask mandates and along with CDC guidelines, we are no longer requiring vaccinated people to wear masks in our fitness and administrative areas. Learn More

Celebrating Juneteenth: A Day of Freedom

By YWCA Minneapolis
Social Share

Juneteenth is a holiday commonly known as the end of chattel slavery in the U.S. It commemorates a moment in history when news of emancipation finally reached people who had been enslaved in the most entrenched parts of the former Confederacy, two and a half years after slavery had been abolished. 

Writer P.R. Lockhart observes Juneteenth as a symbol of how freedom in the U.S. has always been delayed for Black people. Even when the laws are changed, liberty and justice do not come easily or quickly. Lockhart writes, “The decades after the end of the Civil War would see a wave of lynching, imprisonment and Jim Crow laws take root. What followed was the disproportionate impact of mass incarceration, discriminatory housing policies and a lack of economic investment.” 

Today, Juneteenth is regarded as a day of celebration and freedom. After the calls of many to recognize this day as a federal holiday, on June 17, 2021, President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. Juneteenth is the first federal holiday established since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

For Black communities celebrating Juneteenth, we uplift your joy and liberation. For those of us on a journey of allyship, Juneteenth symbolizes another day to recommit to the possibility of just futures. 

Juneteenth Events

YWCA St. Paul Celebration 

Black Visions and CTUL: Juneteenth People’s Assembly and Celebration 

Northside Community Juneteenth Celebration 

Virtual Events with Hennepin County Library 

Juneteenth Events in the Parks – MPRC & Juneteenth Community Board  

Juneteenth March and Rally 

Juneteenth Reparations Roundtable Discussion 

When We All Vote: Juneteenth Weekend of Action for Voter Registration 

Learn More

So You Want to Learn About Juneteenth? 

Why Juneteenth Matters 

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Michele Alexander 

What Are Reparations?