Celebrate Juneteenth With Your Family in Brooklyn

5 ways to celebrate and reflect on Juneteenth National Independence Day

By Macaroni KID June 13, 2024

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Deriving its name from combining June and nineteenth, it is celebrated on the anniversary of the 1865 federal order proclaiming freedom for the last slaves in Texas. 

The day has always been a time of celebration, especially in the Black community, and its significance only continues to grow: In 2021, Juneteenth National Independence Day was finally designated a U.S. Federal holiday.

Want your family to take part in this important and historical celebration of freedom? Here are five ideas how:

1. Attend a Juneteenth event in Brooklyn

See full calendar for more local events. Note: We’ll be updating this list as more events come in; please check back.

Need childcare for Juneteenth observed when NYC Schools are closed on Monday? Check out our school holiday camp guide.

2. Read article: Juneteenth: A Day to Celebrate, Lift Each Other Up & Reflect

Natasha Bethea Goodwin, publisher of Macaroni KID District Heights, Md., writes "As a proud African American, Juneteenth has always held a special place in my heart. It symbolizes true freedom and serves as an opportunity for me to pay homage to my ancestors..." Read more here.

3 Learn about the holiday's meaning

Here's a catchy kid-friendly song from Sesame Street that explains Juneteenth:

For older children, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s website offers good information about Juneteenth, including a reading list.

Looking for great kids' books about Juneteenth? We love  "Juneteenth for Mazie," about a little girl who is upset about restrictions like bedtime; and "All Different Now," the story of the day freedom arrived in Texas from a little girl's perspect

4. Prepare a special meal together

Coming together as a family for a special meal is a traditional way to celebrate Juneteenth. Use the opportunity to explain the importance and meaning of the holiday to your kids.

Want ideas on what to cook? Check this fun video from Thrillist out:

5. Think about positive changes you'd like to see

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is hosting a series of free programs this month to mark Juneteenth, suggests a great way to get kids involved and thinking about the meaning behind Juneteenth is to draw a picture, make a sign or write in a journal on the subject of what positive changes they would like to see in the world, and what they can do to help. 

 FatCamera via Canva

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture offers these conversation starters to help kids begin thinking on the project:

  • Who or what is important to you?
  • What's something you'd like to see change in your community?
  • What would your community be like if everyone was healthy, happy, and safe?
  • Do you see a problem that needs to be fixed?
  • Are there people who should be treated better? How?
  • What can you do to make a difference, fix a problem, or help someone?


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