December 08, 2022

Celebrate Juneteenth with Gospel and R&B at Emancipation Park

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Houston’s #WEAREJUNETEENTH Celebration

Texans can celebrate Juneteenth and the rich history of Emancipation Park at the 150th Anniversary Juneteenth Celebration in Houston.  From 4-10 pm on June 18-19, Emancipation Park hosts their annual Juneteenth Celebration, with plenty of amazing music. The festival includes 2 stages of performances, educational lectures, a community resource center, over 40 food vendors, and more.

There’s a strong gospel presence on the lineup as well as soul and R&B. On June 18, musical guests include the Keeshea Pratt Band featuring Jewel Brown and James Boogaloo Bolde. Then, the evening will conclude with groovy performances from The Isley Brothers and Kool & the Gang. June 19 includes performances from gospel artists Monica Lisa Stevenson, Earnest Pugh, Zacardi Cortez, & Pastor Mike. Sheila E. and Frankie Beverly & Maze will close out the celebration.

Tickets are free but required for admission. And sadly, tickets are no longer for sale. For the full detailed list of events, directions, parking information, and other FAQs click here. Can’t come to the festival? No problem. You can still celebrate Juneteenth and support the Emancipation Park Conservancy by making a donation.

The History of Juneteenth and Emancipation Park

Juneteenth marks the day that federal troops entered Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure all enslaved people be freed. And that’s two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, freeing all slaves. June 19, 1865, commemorates Juneteenth, but it also commemorates the 150th anniversary of Emancipation Park.

In 1872, Emancipation Park was purchased by four men, all former slaves, to have a place to celebrate Juneteenth, the anniversary of their emancipation. This was important in establishing rituals and celebrations around the holiday and allowed the men to exercise their new right of property ownership. It wasn’t until last year that Juneteenth became a national holiday. Texas native Opal Lee spearheaded the initiative. In Texas it’s been an official state holiday since 1982. Now, more Americans than ever are celebrating.

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