Juneteenth, short for June Nineteenth, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. In
June of 1865, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation
Proclamation, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure
that all enslaved people be freed. The 2.5 mile walk symbolizes the 2.5 years it took for the news of freedom to reach all enslaved people in the United States.
The observance of Juneteenth is about the journey and achievement of African American people
from a horrific period of sanctioned enslavement, to a story of resilience and determination of
great historical and spiritual importance. Juneteenth celebrations are a platform for the lifting up
of ancestors and freedom fighters and a recognition of the accomplishments and contributions of
African American people in building this country.
The walk will begin at Central School and follow 1st avenue to Crystal Lake, circle Crystal Lake and return to Central School on 1st avenue. A picnic lunch at Central School will follow the walk. Juneteenth flags or signs are welcome.
Please register by contacting Michelle Toven at 218-999-5883 or
A community wide Juneteenth event celebrating Black freedom will take place on Sunday, June 19th from 11:00 am to 2 pm at the KAXE Rotary Tent in Grand Rapids.