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Detroiters celebrate Juneteenth at events across the city

Detroiters celebrate Juneteenth at events across the city
Posted at 5:40 PM, Jun 19, 2024

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroiters of all ages came out to Capital Park to celebrate Juneteenth and it wasn’t just about celebration.

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It was also about teaching the younger generation about what the holiday means.

“To me, it means absolute and total freedom, all hearts and minds on the same page,” said Candace Cooper of Detroit.


Cooper brought her nephews to Capital Park in Downtown Detroit to celebrate Juneteenth. Cooper says she didn’t learn about Juneteenth until she was an adult so she wants to make sure the kids in her family learn about it at an early age.

“These babies need to know history, we need to embrace it and understand it. You learn your past so you can operate in your present in order to move forward to your future,” said Cooper. 

Juneteenth celebrates the day in 1865 when the last slaves in Galveston, Texas were freed.

At Capital Park, people were able to learn more about that history and also enjoy music, dancing, face painting, and more. 

“It’s not as recognized as others like Christmas or Kwanzaa. But with Juneteenth, it’s personal to us and that’s why it’s amazing to see this event,” said Josiah Johnson.

Josiah Johsnon

13-year-old Josiah Johnson says he learned about Juneteenth when he was about five years old. He says events like the one in Capital Park help teach other children about the holiday.

“It shows that as a community we’re learning more about what happened and how we fixed the problem of our country and made it better for everyone,” said Johnson.

Johnson wasn’t the only kid excited to celebrate Juneteenth at Capital Park.

“I’m happy to be here,” said Kareem McKissak Jr of Detroit. "I think Juneteenth is like a holiday that brings African American people together knowing that they were freed and it’s a holiday to celebrate that.”

Meanwhile, Candace Cooper says she is happy Detroit had so many Juneteenth events going on.

“From the African American Museum to the Historical Museum, Spirit Plaza, here at Capital Park, we got movie night at Campus Martius, there’s just so much to do,” said Cooper.

There was also a Juneteenth event at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

There were various activities that happened there which included exploring special exhibits, watching dance performances, and yoga.

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