MOLINE, Ill. — Editor's note: The above video aired on June 11, 2021.
Community groups across the Quad City area will be celebrating Juneteenth with events, demonstrations, and speeches.
Juneteenth, the newest of the 12 federally-recognized holidays, commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States following the Civil War and maintains special significance in the Black community amid the ongoing fight for civil rights.
Specifically, the day honors the day that federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure the freedom of enslaved people on June 19, 1865. That was about two and half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Juneteenth was proclaimed a federal holiday by President Joe Biden on June 17, 2021, after the holiday gained wider national visibility following civil rights activism after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020.
We're keeping track of local events celebrating Juneteenth in this list.
- Saturday, June 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lincoln Center in Davenport
- Hosted by Friends of MLK, Inc. of Davenport
- Featuring food, retail, vendors, history, games, and family entertainment
- Sunday, June 19 from noon to 3 p.m. at Riverfront Park's Clinton Bandshell
- Annual celebration put on by the Clinton Martin Luther King Jr. Committee
- Family-friendly activities include free food, music, and children's activities like obstacle courses, arm painting, yoga, and more.
- Attendees are invited to bring a lawn chair for a formal program at 1 p.m. featuring multiple guest speakers
- Monday, June 20 at 10 a.m. at Rock Island National Cemetery
- A ceremony honoring the 108th United States Colored Troops, one of many regiments composed of Black men, free and formerly enslaved, that served the Union during the Civil War.
- Held by the "Honoring the 108th USCT" organization, made up of descendants of men from the unit and other community members dedicated to honoring veterans and soldiers.