Juneteenth 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 12-21
Festivities kick off with ceremonial Juneteenth joint resolution & flag raising
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, Centrepolis, Southfield Parks & Recreation and Southfield Historical Society, will sponsor several events and activities for the City’s Juneteenth Celebration June 12-21.
Ceremonial reading of the Juneteenth Joint resolution and raising of the Juneteenth flag - June 12
Southfield’s celebration of African American history and culture will kick off with a ceremonial reading of the Juneteenth Joint resolution and raising of the Juneteenth flag on Monday, June 12 at 5 p.m. at the circle drive in front of City Hall, 26000 Evergreen Road.
Juneteenth Centrepolis Entrepreneurs Micro Makers Evolution Lab Pitch Event– June 14
On Wednesday, June 14 from 1-5 p.m., Centrepolis Accelerator, in partnership with Southfield Business & Economic Development and New Economy Initiative present the Juneteenth Centrepolis Micro Makers Evolution Lab Pitch Event at the Lawrence Technical University atrium. During the event young entrepreneurs will present and showcase several exceptional physical product innovators from Southeast Michigan, who are on the path to launching their Michigan-made products. This is an excellent opportunity to meet and connect with new innovative companies, supporting partners, and Southfield’s growing community of entrepreneurs. Funding sources and investment opportunities will also be available to participants.
Southfield Public Library Juneteenth Programs – June 14-15
On Wednesday, June 14 from 6:30-8 p.m., the Southfield Public Library and the Friends of the Southfield Public Library will host author Dr. Kordilla L. Noble as she discusses her book: A Study of Leadership Development, Self-Efficacy & Career Readiness Among African American/Black Women. Dr. Kordilia L. Noble has more than 20 years’ experience in education, workforce development and cultivating strategic business partnerships, Dr. Noble possesses a wealth of knowledge developed through extensive private- and public-sector work in education, human service and city government. "This book may be the game-changer needed to understand the plight of African American (AA) women in leadership development. Providing a comprehensive and researched-based view, it highlights the challenges, barriers, and perceptions of AA women in employment. This study by Dr. Noble, not only outlines what contributes to the glass ceiling, it also provides the solutions,” stated best-selling author Jocelyn Giangrande.
On Thursday, June 15 from 6:30-8 p.m., the Southfield Public Library and the Friends of the Southfield Public Library will host Born Free & Equal - Michigan's Colored Regiment. During the event, Maurice Imhoff will cover the story of the 1st Michigan Colored Regiment, otherwise known as the 102nd United States Colored Troops. Imhoff will discuss its early authorization to present time remembrance. Following the Emancipation Proclamation, the U.S. military formed the United States Colored Troops. Even as black soldiers fought and died in battle, their citizenship status remained uncertain due to racist policies and limited opportunities for black soldiers to become line officers. Imhoff is a Michigan historian with a focus on Michigan's African American Civil War Regiment, the 1st Michigan Colored Infantry. In 2020, he co-founded the Jackson County Michigan Historical Society and interned at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. This event is presented in conjunction with the Southfield Historical Society.
Mayor’s Juneteenth Walk – Saturday, June 17 at 10-11:30 a.m.
Join Mayor Dr. Ken Siver for the Mayor’s Juneteenth Walk on Saturday, June 17 from 10-11:30 a.m. beginning at the Southfield Municipal Campus front circle. Mayor Dr. Ken Siver will lead participants on an invigorating 2.5 mile walk to the Red Pole Park and back to City Hall where he will discuss Southfield history and the achievements of African Americans in Southfield.
Southfield Parks & Recreation Juneteenth Jubilee – Saturday, June 17 from 4-9 p.m.
On Saturday, June 17, Southfield Parks & Recreation will host the Juneteenth Jubilee, a special Juneteenth celebration beginning at 4 p.m. on the Municipal Campus front lawn. There will be food trucks, entertainment the entire evening, yard games, a Marketplace with over 30 Black vendors and a beer and wine tent for attendees ages 21 and over.
The Juneteenth Jubilee will kick off with the Levey Middle School Marching Band, followed by a performance from the Impulse Dance Academy. Next up is a Step Show featuring the Southfield Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Tau Kapp Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi. This will be followed by Spoken Word hosted by Joel Fluent Greene, a multi-talented artist who will present a variety of acts including poetry, drumming, dancing, comedy, and more. The event will also include music by DJ Deezy D. The headliner for the event, WeeBone Entertainment, will close out the night with a two-hour concert from 7-9 p.m.
AKA Juneteenth Brunch & Scholarship Program – June 19
The Pearls of Service Foundation in partnership with the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a Juneteenth Brunch in celebration of Education and Entrepreneurs to take place at D’Bo’s Daiquiris Restaurant, 28595 Northwestern Hwy. The event is in support and honor of small businesses in the community and is open to the first 110 people to register. Registration for the event will open on June 1, 2023 on the Southfield Chamber of Commerce website.
The Friends of the Southfield Public Library Juneteenth Jazz and Blues Concert – June 21
The Friends of the Southfield Public Library will sponsor a special Juneteenth Jazz and Blues concert at the Southfield Public Library on Wednesday, June 21 from 6-8:30 p.m. This free outdoor concert will feature African American artist Gwen Pennyman-Hemphill. Her musical style encompasses several genres including jazz, R&B, gospel and show tunes. Pennyman-Hemphill has been performing since she was young and is known as Flint’s First Lady of Jazz. “I feel like singing and performing is something I was born to do,” stated Pennyman-Hemphill. She names Aretha Franklin as one of her greatest influences, as well as Chaka Khan, Tina Turner, Billie Holiday, Etta James and many others.
For more information on the 2023 Southfield Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration, contact the Mayor’s Office at (248) 796-5100.