Philadelphia, PA / USA – Juneteenth Parade Philadelphia at Malcom X Park (istock)
Eric L Martin | Chubby Diaries
With the Black Lives Matter movement sweeping across the nation—protesting police brutality and systematic racism, all eyes are on June 19, better known as Juneteenth.
What is Juneteenth
Juneteenth is a celebration that commemorates June 19, 1865, the day slaves in Texas learned of their freedom two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1,1863. Union general Gordon Granger landed in Galveston, Texas and read federal orders that all enslaved people were free and that the Civil War had ended.
Within the past few weeks several companies like Nike and Twitter, have decided to make Juneteenth—the oldest U.S. celebration of the end of slavery, a paid holiday.
Here are must-see U.S. monuments, memorials and museums that commemorate Juneteenth for your summer travels:
Texas African American History Memorial – Austin, Texas
Photo by Eric L. Martin
The monument honors the many contributions of African Americans in Texas. It traces the history of African Americans from the 1500s to the present. It includes representations of heroes such as Texas Revolutionary fighter Hendrick Arnold to leaders such as Barbara Jordan. The central portion of the memorial dramatically depicts Juneteenth in Texas: June 19, 1865 when African Americans were freed from the bonds of slavery.
(Capitol Historical Artifact Collection, State Preservation Board)
African Burial Ground National Monument – Manhattan, NYC
Image via Library of Congress
African Burial Ground is the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans. It protects the historic role slavery played in building New York. (National Park Services)
National Museum of African American History & Culture- Washington, DC
Photo by Alan Karchmer / NMAAHC
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives, and how it helped us shape this nation. (Smithsonian)
The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration – Montgomery, Alabama
Image via Museumandmemorial.eji.org
The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration is situated on a site in Montgomery where enslaved people were once warehoused. A block from one of the most prominent slave auction spaces in America, the Legacy Museum is steps away from an Alabama dock and rail station where tens of thousands of black people were trafficked during the 19th century. (Equal Justice Initiative)
The Wright Museum of African American History – Detroit, Michigan
Image via TheWright.org
The 125,000-square-foot Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History opened in 1997 in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood, the city’s Cultural Center. It bills itself as “the world’s largest institution dedicated to the African American experience.” The building is home to more than 30,000 artifacts and archival materials, including a number of documents from Detroit’s labor movement. (Historic Detroit)
The Juneteenth Memorial Sculpture Monument – Austin, Texas
Photo by Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon
The five sculptures represent the journey of General Granger’s news, and are positioned to reflect the timeline of the information: the Lawmaker passes the news to the Preacher, who informs the former slaves, who deliver the details to their daughter, who waits to inform the next generation. Visitors to the Monument will be able to climb onto the sixth pedestal, to symbolically receive the message from the former slave’s daughter, and to step into history. (Austin Texas)
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center– Cincinnati, Ohio
Photo via National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Facebook
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center stands as a monument to freedom bringing to life the importance – and relevance – of struggles for freedom around the world, throughout history and today. The structure, specificially situated for the location’s historical significance, is made up of three buildings that symbolize the cornerstones of freedom – courage, cooperation and perseverance, and the Freedom Center’s curving architecture reflects the winding river and the often-changing path to freedom. Through it’s exhibits and programming, the Freedom Center offers an educational and inspiring experience for children and adults alike.
(The Cincinnati Region)
Northwest African American Museum- Seattle, Washington
Photo by Rob Ketcherside
At the heart of the African American experience in the Northwest is the story of our journey to this region, the establishment of our vibrant community, and the ways in which we have survived. To tell this ever-unfolding story, the Museum’s exhibitions and programs feature the visual arts, music, crafts, literature and history of African Americans in the Northwest. Cognizant of the black community’s continuous evolution, NAAM focuses on African Americans whose route to the new world was through slavery as well as recent immigrants arriving from places such as Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia. (North African American Museum)
Eric L. Martin Chubby Diaries Travel Analyst. He writes on the latest Travel News and much more.