Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, marks the end of slavery in the United States. Celebrated on June 19th, it commemorates the day in 1865 when Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and enslaved people were free. This was over two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.


Why Juneteenth Matters


Juneteenth is more than just a date on the calendar. It celebrates freedom, resilience, and the ongoing journey toward racial equality. It’s a time to reflect on the struggles and victories of African Americans and recognize the importance of diversity in our communities.
Celebrating Juneteenth allows us to honor the past while looking forward to a future where everyone enjoys equality and justice. It’s a chance to acknowledge the contributions of African Americans to our society and to educate ourselves about the history and ongoing impact of systemic racism. This day reminds us to work together to create a more just and inclusive world.

Delaware’s Connection to Juneteenth


Delaware has a rich African American history. For example, Absalom Jones, who was born into slavery in Delaware in 1746, bought his freedom and became the first African American priest in the Episcopal Church. His story highlights the resilience and determination of African Americans in Delaware and beyond.
At United Way of Delaware, we are dedicated to promoting racial equity and social justice. Our initiatives focus on early education, career and college readiness, financial empowerment, and supporting the well-being of our community. By celebrating Juneteenth, we recognize the importance of understanding our history and striving for a future where everyone can thrive.

Absalom Jones

Absalom Jones “bought” his freedom and became the first African American minister in the Episcopal Church.

Why We Celebrate

There are many reasons to celebrate Juneteenth:
Honoring History: It’s important to recognize and celebrate the history and experiences of African Americans. Juneteenth provides a platform to educate ourselves and others about the significance of emancipation and the ongoing fight for civil rights.

Building Unity: Juneteenth celebrations unite communities to reflect on freedom, justice, and equality. These events foster a sense of unity and shared purpose.

Inspiring Change: Celebrating Juneteenth reminds us of the progress made and the work still needed. It inspires us to continue advocating for racial equity and social justice.

Juneteenth Events Around Delaware – 2024

The Delaware Juneteenth Association will host a parade on King Street in Wilmington at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, followed by a festival at Tubman-Garrett Park at noon. For more information (including additional Juneteenth events in the Wilmington area), go to www.delawarejuneteenth.org.

A Juneteenth celebration will be held at the historic Richard Allen School near Georgetown at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 15 (following a 10 a.m. parade in Georgetown). The event will include an array of Sussex County historical presentations and performances by the Nanticoke Indian Tribe.

The Friends of Cooch’s Bridge Historic Site will host a Juneteenth Celebration at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 16, featuring Kenneth B. Morris and Nadjah Nicole. For more information, go to friendsofcoochsbridge.org.

Journey to Freedom: A Juneteenth Celebration” aims to foster unity within our community to commemorate a significant historical milestone. Attendees will be able to connect with like-minded advocates and align with the YWCA’s mission of combating racism and empowering women. – Saturday, June 22, 11 am – 2 pm, 1 Delaware Rd. Battery Park, New Castle, Delaware. Visit YWCADE.org/juneteenth 

The City of Lewes will host its annual Juneteenth Celebration from 1-6 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, at George H.P. Smith Park. For more information, go to www.leweschamber.com/event/city-lewes-annual-juneteenth-celebration.