Juneteenth events in DFW: Unity Weekend, Arlington Jubilee

Fort Worth activist Opal Lee speaks with President Joe Biden after he signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on June 17, 2021. Lee was instrumental in the effort to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Fort Worth activist Opal Lee speaks with President Joe Biden after he signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on June 17, 2021. Lee was instrumental in the effort to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.


Driven by the tireless work of Fort Worth civil rights activist Opal Lee, Juneteenth became a national holiday last year.

Lee, now 95, walked 1,400 miles from Fort Worth to Washington in 2016 and started an online petition in her quest to have Congress declare June 19 a federal holiday.

Lee’s dream became reality last June when Juneteenth became the first federal holiday signed into law since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983. She joined President Joe Biden in Washington to mark the historic occasion.

Juneteenth celebrates the announcement on June 19, 1865 proclaiming the freedom of slaves in Texas, almost two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Now the rest of the nation will join Texas in commemorating the special day this June, which falls on a Sunday this year.

Dallas-Fort Worth is marking the holiday with many special events, festivals and exhibits around the area.

Here are a few ways that you can join in the celebration.

‘Black Every Day’ at Amon Carter

This special exhibit at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art highlights over a century of photographic images of Black Americans from the museum’s collection.

“Black Every Day” explores the richness of Black culture, depicted by thematic sections including family, community, labor and excellence. The images highlight different aspects of Black everyday lives as captured by photographers.

The exhibit features people gathering, working and worshipping while focusing on moments of Black life that often go unacknowledged.

The collection includes images from unidentified photographers as well as iconic works from artists such as Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks and James Van Der Zee.

When / Where: Through Sept. 11, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth TX 76107

Admission: Free

Hours: Sunday, noon-5 pm; Tuesday-Wednesday, Friday-Saturday, 10 am-5 pm; Thursday, 10 am-8 pm

More information: cartermuseum.org, 817-738-1933

Juneteenth Unity Weekend in Dallas

More than 20,000 people are expected to gather in Dallas to celebrate the contributions of Black LGBTQ people to American culture.

Hosted by Dallas Southern Pride, the annual Juneteenth Unity Weekend will feature health and wellness screenings, COVID-19 vaccinations, a festival, pool party, an Emancipation Ball and concerts featuring top-notch artists including Dallas’ own, Yella Beezy and Erica Banks.

The event celebrates the second annual recognition of Juneteenth as a national holiday and the second year of June being declared LGBTQ + Pride Month.

Unity Weekend also serves as an inclusive networking opportunity for professionals as well as a forum for addressing disparities in health and social justice, while also celebrating freedom through art, music and cultural festivals.

When / Where: June 16-20, locations around Dallas

Cost: Tickets start at $ 10 for various events, concerts; go to eventbrite.com and search for Juneteenth Unity Weekend

More information: dallasouthernpride.com

‘Congregate’ at Kinfolk House

The Kinfolk House, a new collaborative art space in an historic 100-year-old home in the Polytechnic neighborhood of Fort Worth, has opened its second exhibition with “Congregate.”

“Congregate,” featuring works by three Texas-born artists, explores the importance of community along with isolation experienced by many during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kinfolk House asked the artists to address certain topics while illustrating community through their works, including what makes a community along with the joys and struggles involved in trying to keep one together.

Kinfolk House, owned by artists Sedrick and Letitia Huckaby, was inspired by Sedrick’s grandmother and original homeowner, Hallie Beatrice Carpenter.

The Huckabys strive to uplift the predominantly Black and Hispanic area of ​​Polytechnic and inspire creativity through culture and art while bringing folks together in a common space.

When / Where: Through July 30, Kinfolk House, 1913 Wallace Street, Fort Worth TX 76105

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10 am-2 pm; Friday, 10 am-5 pm; Saturday, 11 am-5 pm

More information: kinfolkhouse.org

Arlington Juneteenth Jubilee

The second annual event features live music and poetry readings, dancing, shopping and food trucks designed to feed the mind, body and soul.

Most of the activities will be held in downtown Arlington and are free to the public.

The three-day event, set for June 17-19, also includes activities previously planned for Arlington’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration that was postponed from January because of the pandemic.

The Jubilee opens Friday, June 17 with a reception and screening of “A Place of Our Own,” the first episode of a new documentary about Black residents in a small Arlington community known as “The Hill.”

The episode of “Echoes from the Hill” features photos and interviews with Black residents and their descendants who lived in the community.

Ticket information for the screening, which will be held at 7 pm at the Arlington ISD Center for Visual and Performing Arts, is available at echoesfromthehill.com.

Saturday includes an MLK Day of Service and festival, and art festival on Main Street and free music at Levitt Pavilion Arlington.

The Jubilee closes Sunday with an MLK service at the Greater Community Missionary Baptist Church at 6 pm followed by more live musical performances at Levitt Pavilion from 7: 30-10 pm

When / Where: June 17-19, downtown Arlington, other locations

Cost: Most events are free; “A Place of Our Own” Friday screening, $ 20

More information: arlingtontx.gov/residents/events/juneteenth

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