How and where to celebrate Juneteenth in Spokane

A Look At Major Civil Rights Moments In Every State
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News of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation did not reach slaves in Texas for two-and-a-half years when Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger marched into Galveston on June 19, 1865, to announce the end of slavery and the Civil War to the last slaves still toiling for their masters on American soil. Also known as “Black Independence Day,” the moment has been enshrined as Juneteenth, one of the most important dates in civil rights history. In 1980, Texas became the first state to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday, and all but a handful of states honor the date, which has received renewed attention amid 2020’s racial turmoil.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Members of the greater Spokane community are invited to celebrate Juneteenth through a series of events this upcoming weekend. 

Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates the emancipation of black slavery in the Unites States. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, but the news of emancipation did not reach the last slaves in Galveston, Texas until June 19, 1865. 

The holiday has long been celebrated in Texas, but this past April – 156 years later – it was made a legal state holiday in Washington. 

RELATED: Washington Legislature approves Juneteenth as state holiday

READ: Juneteenth to be a state holiday in Washington state in 2022

“Juneteenth is considered Liberation Day in the African American community, celebrating our ancestor’s freedom,” said Councilwoman Betsy Wilkerson. “I am delighted to be partnering with strong and prominent organizations here in Spokane to celebrate not only Juneteenth but also the passing of House Bill 1061 that made Juneteenth a recognized holiday in Washington state. What better time than now to highlight cultural celebrations in our city and in our beloved East Central neighborhood. I hope everyone will come out to help us celebrate, learn about the East 5th Avenue Initiative, and take advantage of the resources and fun we will have for the entire community.” 

There will be several community events throughout the weekend to celebrate: 

Movie in the Park featuring “Black Panther”

Date: Friday, June 18th

Time: 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Location: Underhill Park, 2910 E. Hartson Ave

Juneteenth Celebration & Vaccination Clinic

Date: Saturday, June 19th

Time: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm (resource fair) 2:00 pm—6:00 pm (music and entertainment)

Location: MLK Family Outreach Center at East Central Community Center, 500 S. Stone St.

Praise in the Park and Community Book Drive

Date: Sunday, June 20th

Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Location: Liberty Park, 502 S. Pittsburg Street

Father’s Day Drive up Brunch

Date: Sunday, June 20th

Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Location: Emmanuel Life Center, 631 S. Richard Allen Court

The Juneteenth celebrations and events are made possible through several collaborators including the INJC, the Carl Maxey Center, Spokane NAACP, the MLK Family Outreach Center, S.C.A.R and Spokane Ministerial Fellowship. 

This year’s celebration marks 10 years since INJC’s activation of Juneteenth in Spokane. 

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