Week-long Juneteenth celebrations begin with 2nd annual parade at Kelly Ingram Park on June 13

1963 Foot Soldiers meeting 2019 Foot Soldiers
1963 Foot Soldiers meeting with 2019 Foot Soldiers in Kelly Ingram Park. Photo courtesy of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Mark your calendars Birmingham.  The National Juneteenth Observance Foundation of Alabama and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute have scheduled numerous Juneteenth events beginning the morning of Saturday, June 13th a parade and ending with a solemn candlelight vigil on June 21. 

Juneteenth

Three pastors monument at Kelly Ingram Park in the Birmingham Civil Rights District. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863.

Celebrated in 42 states, Juneteenth was formally recognized in Alabama as a holiday by a resolution of the Alabama Legislature in 2011.

National Juneteenth Observance Foundation Events

Entrance at Kelly Ingram Park. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

June 13 –  2nd Annual Juneteenth Parade at Kelly Ingram Park & 5th Avenue. The parade begins at 9am.  If you plan to participate the line up is at 8 am 

June 14 – The National Juneteenth Festival at Kelly Ingram Park from Noon to 4:30pmlive entertainment, prizes, fun, games, education for the children, horse rides, free food (not much because of the Corvid19 plague and the safety of the people)

June 19 – Juneteenth Celebration at Patton Park – 4:00pm 

June 19 –  A 100 Women March at Legion Field – 5:00pm

June 19 –  Party in Downtown Ensley Business District –  5:00pm to 10:00pm

June 21 – Annual candlelight Vigil for the Ancestors. 

If you need additional info about the events or wish to participate as a vendor contact Brenda Paige Ward, National Juneteenth Alabama State Director. Contact info: 205-593-7171. Also visit the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation Facebook page for updates.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute honoring Dr. Angela Y. Davis with the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award on Juneteenth

On Juneteenth – June 19th at 7:00pm, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will be holding a virtual event to celebrate and honor Dr. Angela Y. Davis with the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award

Visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Facebook page for details.

The Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award is the highest award given by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, that honors outstanding individuals for their significant contributions to civil and human rights. 

Fred Shuttlesworth
Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth statue at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Through her activism and scholarship over many decades, Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities united in the struggle for economic, racial and gender justice.

Dr. Davis will be interviewed by Professor D. Wendy Greene. The daughter of American civil rights activists, Professor Greene is a history-making legal scholar and advocate who specializes in anti-discrimination law as well as comparative slavery and race relations law in the Americas and Caribbean.

  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.