Juneteenth Events Along The MS Gulf Coast

Friday, June 19

Juneteenth Black Friday Party

The Almanett Hotel & Bistro – Gulfport

Come out this Friday to The Black Friday Juneteenth Celebration. (All Black Affair) featuring DJ Mixx Maestro. Great Food & Specialty Drinks. Bistro opens at 11 am the party starts at 7 pm.

Saturday, June 20

Juneteenth Celebration

Downtown Moss Point

Enjoy vendors, music, unity march, peaceful protest, and free rapid COVID-19 testing, free mask and hand sanitizer giveaway, and more. If you would like to participate as a vendor (it is free) contact brittany.johnson@cityofmosspoint.org (228)475-0300. Please wear your mask!

Unity March & Prayer

Biloxi Town Green

The gathering begins at 8 a.m., march at 9 a.m. at the Biloxi Town Green and ending at Biloxi City Hall. For more information contact Greg Whitfield, event coordinator, (228) 860-0331.

Celebration in the Park

John Henry Beck Park – Biloxi

Immediately following the march from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy food, vendors, drinks and splash pad. Also: Juneteenth history presentation, flag history/ceremony, NAACP membership information, voter registration information, census information, COVID 19 information, waterslide, obstacle course, music/dj. For more information contact Biloxi Parks & Recreation at (228) 388-7170.

2020 Wade – In Memorial Service & Teen Walk

Biloxi Lighthouse Park – adjacent to Biloxi Visitors Center

Special guests include Dr. Gilbert Mason Jr. and Clemon P. Jimerson. Event Participants include Sabrina Stallworth, Madison Pavlus, Lt. Sonya Smith and Saveair Kemp.

Everything you need to know about Juneteenth:

The Emancipation Proclamation. We all learned about it in school. January 1, 1863. The day President Abraham Lincoln declared that “all persons held as slaves” in confederate states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” The end of slavery in America, right? Wrong.

Turns out, that message didn’t reach everyone in America and wouldn’t for a couple more years.

Maybe the message just didn’t make its way to Texas or maybe it was due to the lack of Union troops in the state to enforce the executive order but Texans would still own slaves until June of 1865 (two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed).

After the Civil War was over, Union Major General Gordon Granger was given command of the Department of Texas.

He landed in Galveston, TX on June 19, 1865 and officially declared that the enslaved were now free.

This was one of his first official orders in Texas, General Order Number 3. It said:

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection therefore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.”

“The reactions to this profound news ranged from pure shock to immediate jubilation,” according to Juneteenth.com.

Eventually the celebration of June 19th came to be known as Juneteenth.

“The Juneteenth celebration was a time for reassuring each other, for praying and for gathering remaining family members,” Juneteenth.com says.

According to History.com, for decades to come, Juneteenth commemorations were full of music, barbecues, rodeos, fishing, prayer services and other activities.

“As blacks migrated from Texas to other parts of the country the Juneteenth tradition spread,” History.com says.

Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday in 1979.

“Juneteenth today, celebrates African-American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures,” Juneteenth.com says. “As it takes on a more national, symbolic and even global perspective, the events of 1865 in Texas are not forgotten, for all of the roots tie back to this fertile soil from which a national day of pride is growing.”

So how can we celebrate Juneteenth today?

Juneteenth.com has a whole list of ways you can celebrate the holiday but another way to celebrate that is not on the list is to support local black owned businesses. You can also support online black owned businesses.

A Memphis businesswoman is launching a website where customers can shop from 100 black-owned businesses in one place. The website, Juneteenth Shop Black will run from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. CST on June 19th.