On June 19, 1865, a group of Union troops stopped in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved people that the Civil War was over, the Confederacy was defeated, and enslaved people in Texas were free. Although President Abraham Lincoln freed enslaved people held in the Confederate States through the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, many slaveholders in Texas refused to comply. Since 1865, Southern citizens have observed Juneteenth in commemoration of that fateful day in Galveston.
Today, Juneteenth serves as a holiday to reflect on our nation’s history, commemorate emancipation, and look towards the future impact of Black culture and community. In 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, making Juneteenth a federal holiday.
Join us as we celebrate Juneteenth 2023 (and Father’s Day) by honoring the history of Black genealogy and agricultural practices. This year's event promises to be a truly immersive experience featuring live music, powerful storytelling, interactive crafts, and delicious food.
Our workshops and talks will provide valuable insights into the history of Juneteenth and offer tips on how to research your family tree and preserve family artifacts.
This event is suitable for people of all ages. Pre-registration is optional, but highly recommended to expedite the check-in process. In the event of inclement weather, our entire Juneteenth program will take place indoors.
Although this is a free public program, donations are greatly appreciated and can be made via the registration link above. Your donation will help offset the cost of this event and help fund future Juneteenth programs. We thank you for your support!
This program is part of Atlanta History Center’s celebration of the Civic Season, a nationwide initiative encouraging historically-informed civic participation through a two-week activation between Juneteenth and July 4th.
MARTA bus route 110 stops along Peachtree Road, approximately 15 minutes walking distance from Atlanta History Center; rideshare should be directed to McElreath Hall.
The Atlanta History Center Buckhead campus is ADA-Compliant.
Plan Your Day
|Timed Activities||Bird Walk in the Gardens|
|It’s a little-known fact that Goizueta Gardens is a birding hotspot; over a hundred species of birds have been sighted on campus. Our outdoor spaces contain an exciting mix of natural and curated landscapes. This birding trip is recommended for beginner birders and families with children over 10. Binoculars will be provided. This event is ticketed and limited to 20 guests for each time slot.||8 and 10am||Goizueta Gardens|
|Preservation Tips & Tricks: Photos, Textiles, & Furniture||Join our archives staff as they share tips and tricks to preserve and store your photos and heirloom textiles and furniture. A short presentation will be followed by a Q&A. Handouts with condensed information on how to care for different material types will be available to pick up before and after the presentation.||11:15am–12pm||Woodruff Auditorium (McElreath Hall)|
|Tour of the Gardens||The Goizueta Gardens team will explore how enslaved people gardened in the antebellum South. We will also discuss West African influences on gardening, cultural exchanges between enslaved and Native people, & the medicinal use of plants.||11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm||Smith Farm|
|Museum Theater Piece: Free in the Name Only||Join us for a 20-minute museum theater performance written by Aaron R. Bonds and directed by Charity Jordan. We will explore the connections between the Reconstruction period and today, through the lens of a single family’s experience. This performance will be followed by a brief talk-back discussion about Juneteenth.||12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm||Smith Farm Enslaved People’s Cabin|
|Tea & Talk with Dr. D.L. Henderson|
|Cherokee Garden Library of Kenan Research Center presents Gardens and Cultural Landscapes of Black America: A Tea & Talk with Dr. D.L. Henderson. Dr. Henderson will discuss a new digital collection at the Cherokee Garden Library: Gardens and Cultural Landscapes of Black America visual arts materials. Tea and light refreshments will be provided. This event is ticketed and limited to 35 guests.||12–2pm||Draper Room (McElreath Hall)|
|Forsyth County: Descendants Panel||The Digital Storytelling team will host a panel with three descendants of expelled Black residents of Forsyth County, Elon Osby, Charles Grogan, and Chase Evans, and author of Blood at the Root, Patrick Phillips. The panel will discuss Digital Storytelling’s ongoing project collecting the oral histories of descendants of Forsyth County’s expelled Black residents, the importance of family oral history preservation, and sneak peek listening session to our Digital Storytelling podcast.||12:30–1:30pm||Woodruff Auditorium (McElreath Hall)|
|Black Genealogy Talk||Certified genealogist, Elyse Hill, will present the beginning steps for African American genealogy geared at helping Black families learn tools to conduct independent research. Hill has 20 years of experience in African American genealogy research, specializing in developing family trees.||2–3pm||Woodruff Auditorium (McElreath Hall)|
|Folktales & Interactive Storytelling with LaDoris Bias-Davis||All ages are encouraged to indulge their imaginations and nurture their spirits as Ms. Bias-Davis brings to life Gullah Geechee tales, African American folktales, and more.||11–11:30am, 12–12:30pm, 1–1:30pm, 2–2:30pm||Museum Terraces (Atlanta History Museum Building)|
|Ongoing Activities||Juneteenth Introduction Video||Learn about the roots of Juneteenth and explore what the holiday means today.||10am–2pm||Kennedy Theater (Atlanta History Museum Building)|
|Bagley Park Pop-Up Exhibition||The Digital Storytelling Team has worked with community partner Elon Osby to exhibit artifacts related to William Bagley and Bagley Park, a historically Black Buckhead neighborhood demolished in the early 1950s to create a public park. Osby is the granddaughter of William Bagley, the unofficial mayor of Bagley Park.||10am–2pm||Nicholson Gallery (Atlanta History Museum Building)|
|Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt Guild||Learn from Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt Guild members as they lead demonstrations, provide make-and-take quilting activities, deliver insightful presentations, and showcase their work. They will share the heritage of quilting through various mediums and methods.||10am–2pm||Grand Overlook Ballroom (Atlanta History Museum Building)|
|Kids’ Crafts||Stop and smell the flowers! Kids can create a foam craft to take home by choosing their favorite color petals, designing flowers, and decorating a faux flowerpot. This craft is for children of all ages.||10am–2pm||Exhibition Hallway (Atlanta History Museum Building)|
|Family & Community Photos||Capture memories with friends and family with one of our roaming photographers||Atrium|
|Swan Lawn Activities (Fountain Side of Swan House)||Collective Painting: Arts Alley||Join with other visitors to complete several paint-by-number canvases based on our theme Planted, designed and curated by Paint Love. While there, you can also experience other Arts Alley activities, including music and dancing.||10am–2pm||Swan Driveway|
|Lawn Games||Get outside and play: giant checkers, bubble wands, Ultimate Twister, big Connect 4, cornhole, spikeball, and toss and catch!||12–4pm||Swan Lawn|
|Civic Season Booth||There are many ways to pitch in when it comes to shaping the future of our nation. Stop by to take the Civic Superpower quiz and learn about historical figures who were like you, and to learn about Civic Season, celebrated from Juneteenth to July 4th by communities across the country.||12–4pm||Swan Lawn|
|Facepainting||Facepainting by India will entertain you with unique creations.||12–4pm||Swan Lawn|
|Yoga with DeKeely Atkins||Start our Juneteenth lawn festivities with DeKeely of Form Yoga. A limited number of blankets will be available; otherwise, bring your own mat or enjoy going barefoot in the grass.||12:15–12:35pm||Swan Lawn|
|Southern Komfort Brass Band||The Second Line band, Southern Komfort Brass Band will close out the event with music that will make you want to move your feet.||3–4pm||Swan Lawn|
|Food & Drink||Credit Card Bar||Beat the heat and grab your favorite libation. Serving non-alcoholic options, including soft drinks, sparkling water, and juice. Alcoholic beverages include beer, wine, and a signature Juneteenth rum punch.||12–4pm||Museum Terraces and Swan House Lawn|
|Food Trucks||Choose your pick of delicious Southern bites from The Funnel Cake Guys and Soul Truckin’ Good. Meal items are available while|
|12–4pm||Swan House Parking Lot|
(across from McElreath Hall)
|Water Stations||All Day||McElreath Hall, Atlanta History Museum building (near restrooms)|
|First Aid||All Day||Swan House Lawn and Exhibition Hall|
|Nursing Room||A private room for nursing parents, located near the sensory-friendly space and additional restrooms.||All Day||Classrooms (enter through Gatheround exhibition)|
|Sensory Friendly Room||All Day||Classrooms (enter through Gatheround exhibition)|
|Information Desk||All Day||Atlanta History Museum front desk and Swan House Lawn|
|Pop Up Shops||All Day||Museum Terraces and Swan House Lawn|