Since 2013, Atlanta History Center has hosted an annual Juneteenth commemoration that connects visitors to this essential moment in national history through a weekend of free programming.

[PICA-05481], Austin History Center, Austin Public Library

Join us virtually as we honor Black innovation, creativity, and activism throughout the entire month of June 2021.

Juneteenth is a celebration marking an end to slavery in the United States. Though Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, very few people were immediately freed. A full two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation and two long months after Richmond fell, the last enslaved African Americans in Texas were pronounced free people. That momentous date, June 19, 1865, has been proclaimed Juneteenth and celebrated annually ever since.

From discussions exploring the lives and experiences of perseverant African American figures like civil rights leader C.T. Vivian, to a deep dive into historic locations in Atlanta’s African American community, check back often to discover curated resources that will help you and your family learn more about Juneteenth and the rich African American legacy on which our city and country are built.

Juneteenth: A Celebration for a New Age

Trace the remarkable twists and turns in the history of the observance of Juneteenth.

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Democracy Powered by You

From Juneteenth to the 4th of July, we invite you to participate in the first-ever Civic Season. This is our chance to redefine how and what we celebrate as we look back at the past, and join in shaping the future!

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With a goal of bringing art to the forefront of the community, Midtown Heart of the Arts showcases the work of visual artists at various physical locations in Midtown Atlanta. In partnership with Midtown Alliance, Atlanta History Center Midtown is host to several dynamic art installations. These artists’ work help facilitate critical dialogue around issues including race, gender, class, and activism. Below is a selection of participating artists whose work challenges our thinking by sharing experiences of those with traditionally marginalized voices in underrepresented spaces.

Experience Sweet Auburn

Celebrate Juneteenth and African American resilience and ingenuity by taking a walking tour of “Sweet Auburn,” a neighborhood that John Wesley Dobbs once called the “richest Negro street in the world.” While at the time, Dobbs was referring to the financial influence of the area, today, as a birthplace of the modern Civil Rights movement, the area is replete with historical significance.  This tour was co-curated by Historic Atlanta and Atlanta History Center.

Family. Focused.

Juneteenth offers families an opportunity to talk about freedom and the experiences of African-Americans in the United States—and reading is a great way to explore these topics.

Related. Stories.

David Drake Pottery

David Drake was an enslaved potter in South Carolina. His jars are unique not only for their craftsmanship, but because Drake often etched lines of poetry into the clay while it was still wet.

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Black Citizenship

We invite you to meet Black Atlantans who made history as educators, artists, legislators, soldiers, and more. This virtual tour offers the full content of the exhibition at Atlanta History Center, and was created by New-York Historical Society.

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Black Landscapes Matter

This curated experience discusses the importance of making connections between the past and present when it comes to racism, injustice, and food access in nineteenth century and present-day Atlanta.

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Educational. Activities.

Super Spies uses hand-drawn illustrations, historical photographs, and fantastic storytelling to explore the untold history of Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Van Lew, and Mary Bowser during the American Civil War.

Enslaved people in the United States resisted the institution of slavery and asserted their humanity and their personhood in many different ways. From running away, organizing uprisings and directly fighting back, as well as clinging to and sharing African traditions which were at constant risk of erasure. One of the many forms of resistance was joining the United States' cause during the Civil War and serving the cause as spies, nurses, and soldiers. 

We are excited to bring to you three such stories of Black self-liberation during the American Civil War. History comes to life in these unique lessons created by our Education team in 2020. From brave covert women spies embedded in the Confederacy to the courageous men who fought in the United States Colored Troops—there is sure to be something for everyone in the family to explore.

Lift Every Voice. Playlist.

Clap your hands, stomp your feet, and lift your voice in celebration of triumph, emancipation, and history with these inspirational tunes.

Genealogy. Presentation.

Emma Davis-Hamilton discusses the Freedmen's Bureau in this pre-recorded genealogy presentation. The records of the Freedmen’s Bureau are a rich resource for documenting African American life in the post-Civil War and Reconstruction eras.


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