Juneteenth Family Festival: June 17th, 2023
110th & Longwood | Chicago IL

Updated on: June 18, 2022 / 6:50 PM / CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — This is the first year the City of Chicago is recognizing Juneteenth as a municipal holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas finally learned they were free — two years after the emancipation proclamation. 

In Chicago, Juneteenth means celebrating! The Morgan Park neighborhood held a major celebration for the occasion Saturday, including a live concert and a footwork performance during intermission. 

Even though this is the first time the city is recognizing Juneteenth, Black Chicagoans have been celebrating the holiday for years. 

From young kids immersing with the Chicago Bulls bucket boys to Djumbe drumming lessons, the Beverly/Morgan Park Juneteenth festival had many selections to celebrate the holiday. 

“It’s a wonderful acknowledgement, but it’s also, I think, a deep reminder of how much work there is left to do to reach true equality,” said Beverly resident Mildred Williamson”…Read More 

“CHICAGO (SOUTH SIDE WEEKLY)— That the gathering spans from the east to the west side of Longwood Drive carries a lot of “symbolism and significance,” according to lead organizer Shanya Gray, because the street “has been traditionally a dividing line: Black on one side and white on the other side.” Celebrating the Juneteenth holiday, especially in a neighborhood known for its St. Patrick’s Day parade, fills a need to center and celebrate the Black experience for Black people.

But one of the organizers’ key goals is to educate everyone within the community about Black history in the United States, including emancipation from slavery, since as Gray asserts, the “American education system has not always done justice when it comes to these historical matters.” Gray believes Juneteenth festivals should be a “combination of looking back and looking forward…celebrating emancipation but also celebrating African American culture”…Read More 
South Side Weekly

CHICAGO (CBS) — There was some questioning of: ‘Well, why are they having a Black business crawl? Why can’t I have a white business crawl?’ Or, ‘why do they have to celebrate the ending of slavery and being African American?” Gray said.

Jenna Gorham added, “Have we really made huge strides as much as we think?”

Gorham is spearheading the support for the Black-owned businesses.

“We can say than we’re in solidarity, but do you really show that in the way you spend your money?” Gorham said. “And so, I think that this business crawl is a way to for people to say that we support, yes, the movements when it comes to racial inequity, but also, we’re investing so that these businesses stay in the neighborhood”…Read More

CHICAGO (THE BEVERLY REVIEW)— The Beverly/Morgan Park Juneteenth festival was first held in 2019 in the Dan Ryan Woods, and it pivoted to a Black Business Crawl in 2020 due to the pandemic. 

It is returning with great energy, a new location and more activities this year.

The Juneteenth Family Festival provides a chance to “give-back” by showcasing several Black-run non-profit organizations, spreading the word about their work and sharing information about how to get involved and support their efforts. Participants will be encouraged to reach out to their elected officials to make it known that Juneteenth should become a federally recognized holiday.

Juneteenth Family Festival activities acknowledge and celebrate this critical moment in African-American history while educating the community at large”…Read More
The Beverly Review

CHICAGO (PATCH)— Beverly neighborhood residents and all others are invited to a Juneteenth celebration planned for the Dan Ryan Woods over the final weekend of June. The Juneteenth Family Celebration, the first known event of its kind in Beverly/Morgan Park, will honor African-American culture and celebrate the end of slavery beginning at noon on Saturday, June 29 in the woods’ West Picnic Grove 8 at 87th and Western.

“We have a great mix of cultures in this area, but diversity in our neighborhood doesn’t happen by accident,” said Shayna Gray, an event organizer and a co-founder of the online community Moms of Beverly. “It can only exist if we recognize, celebrate and encourage it”…Read More
-The Patch