Juneteenth (officially Juneteenth National Independence Day and also known as Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Black Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans. It is also often observed for celebrating African-American culture.

Originating in Galveston, Texas, it has been celebrated annually on June 19 in various parts of the United States since 1865. The day was recognized as a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. Juneteenth's commemoration is on the anniversary date of the June 19, 1865, announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army general Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas, which was the last state of the Confederacy with institutional slavery.

City of Southfield celebrates Juneteenth with week of activities and events June 13-22

The City of Southfield, in partnership with Pearls of Service Foundation (PSF) and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKA), Inc.® - Pi Tau Omega Chapter, Southfield Public Library, Southfield Parks & Recreation and Southfield Historical Society, is pleased to announce the 2022 lineup for the Juneteenth Celebration. This week-long celebration of African American history and culture will include numerous events, programs and activities. Kicking off the Juneteenth Celebration will be a ceremonial raising of the Juneteenth Flag on Wednesday, June 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the circle drive in front of City Hall.

Southfield Public Library & Friends of the Southfield Public Library Juneteenth Programs

The Friends of the Southfield Public Library will sponsor a special Juneteenth Jazz and Blues concert at the Southfield Public Library on Wednesday, June 15 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. This free outdoor concert will feature an African American artist performing various genres of African American music including traditional songs such as “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in honor of Juneteenth. The Library BookShelf will be open offering gently used books for sale as well as various vendors featuring local African American owned businesses.

On Thursday, June 16 from 5:30-6:15 p.m., the Southfield Public Library will host A Timeline in Dance featuring Body Rhythm Dance Theatre Youth Troupe. The group will present several dances that go through the years showing how dance is a relevant part of black history. The Library will also feature special Juneteenth book displays throughout the building in addition to hosting author and educator Jean Alicia Elster will lead the group on how to collect oral histories to learn your family and community history from your elders. Look for more information on the date and time to be announced soon at www.southfieldlibrary.org.

Mayor’s Juneteenth Walk

Join Mayor Dr. Ken Siver for the Mayors 2022 Juneteenth Walk on Saturday, June 18 at 10 a.m. beginning at the Southfield Municipal Campus front circle for an invigorating 2.5 mile walk to the Red Pole Park and back to City Hall.

Southfield Parks & Recreation Juneteenth Programs

On Saturday, June 18, Southfield Parks & Recreation will sponsor a number of Juneteenth activities including a Story Book Trail around the Municipal Campus front loop walkway. P&R and the Southfield Public Library will also host a Children’s Story Time with Librarian Miss Shari at noon. P&R will also offer a flag bead bracelet making craft and other fun activities for youth. Pearls of Service Foundation will host a family gameboard section reminiscent of family cookouts.

Juneteenth reenactors and presenters will begin at 1 p.m. followed by Juneteenth dancers at 2 p.m. on the Municipal Campus front lawn. The event will also include an African American Drumming group from 4-6 p.m. followed by Larry Lee from 7-9 p.m. Oakland County P&R will also be on hand with a zipline and other activities as well as food available for purchase from a variety of food trucks.

Pearls of Service Foundation / Alpha Kappa Alpha Juneteenth Family Day Virtual Program

PSF and PTO will hold a Juneteenth Webinar celebrating Juneteenth and its incorporation into our society on Sunday, June 19 (times and web links TBD). Look for more information soon at www.pearlsofservicefoundation.org or www.akasouthfield.org.

John Osler original oil painting exhibition on display in city hall main lobby until July

Mayor Ken Siver and the Southfield Public Arts Commission partnered with local artist John Osler to present an exhibition of his work in the city hall main lobby through July of 2022. The exhibition kicked off with a special artist reception to celebrate Black History Month on February 25. The exhibition, featuring 27 original John Osler oil paintings celebrating African Americans, will be on display Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. All of the original artwork is also offered for sale to the public.

Please note that all events and activities are still in the planning stages are subject to change. For more information on the 2022 Southfield Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration, visit www.cityofsouthfield.com or contact the Mayor’s Office at (248) 796-5100.

Centrepolis Accelerator Micro Makers Evolution Lab Pitch Event

Centrepolis Accelerator is excited to host the Micro Makers Evolution Lab Pitch Event on June 22. This hybrid event will feature startups & entrepreneurs creating innovative physical products and/or hardware in Michigan, specifically the City of Southfield & Wayne County. These unique startups will have the chance to compete for $35,000 in prizes! Register here: https://conta.cc/3OYrB2c

The event will highlight startups and entrepreneurs creating innovative physical products and hardware in Michigan, specifically the City of Southfield & Wayne County. This event will also feature a dynamic set of speakers including Ken Silver, Mayor, City of Southfield, and Wafa Dinaro, Executive Director, New Economy Initiative, as well as a fireside chat with Centrepolis client Nezar Akeel, Founder & CEO, MaxPro Fitness, as featured on ABC’s hit series Shark Tank. Register here: https://conta.cc/3OYrB2c.