Plans are underway to celebrate Juneteenth in Nashville and Middle Tennessee as the day has become a federal holiday.
Juneteenth is the cultural holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved Black people in the United States. President Biden signed a bill this week making Juneteenth a federal holiday.
In Nashville, the National Museum of African American Music is hosting three days of events starting with a Celebration of Legends benefit concert, honoring the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Smokey Robinson, Chaka Khan, Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and ending with a Juneteenth Block Party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Click here for a full schedule.
A Paint & Brunch event is slated from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the BLM street mural located at at Woodland Street and First Street.
Juneteenth: Freedom Celebration is being held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Nashville’s Fort Negley Park with food, libations, history and performance art.
A Community Festival is happening in the Bordeaux community from noon to 5 p.m.
A statue honoring U.S. Colored Troops will be unveiled at an inaugural Juneteenth event in Franklin. The statue was erected as part of the "Fuller Story Initiative" to honor African American soldiers and will be located in front of the Historic Courthouse. Click here for a schedule of events surrounding the day.
Erik Jones, #43 Driver of Richard Petty Motorsports, is hosting a meet & greet at Town Square Social in Lebanon at 4 p.m.
Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19 and commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. It's been celebrated for over a century and traces back to 1865 in Galveston, Texas when Major Granger announced that "all slaves are free" - two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
A bill passed earlier this year which designates June 19 of each year as "Juneteenth," a day of special observance in Tennessee. Last year, Gov. Bill Lee signed a proclamation that recognizes Juneteenth.
Juneteenth became a paid holiday for Montgomery County workers last September, in a push to help add pressure to state lawmakers, who ultimately have not passed legislation to make Juneteenth a holiday.
In 1979, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday.