How Minnesotans are celebrating Juneteenth

Juneteenth shirt
A man displays a shirt celebrating the freedom of enslaved Black people during Juneteenth celebration.
Courtesy of Michael B. Thomas

Juneteenth is now a federally recognized holiday. President Joe Biden signed a bill Thursday to recognize the holiday, which celebrates the end of enslavement of Black people in the United States. Hennepin County and the city of Minneapolis had already made it a paid holiday.    

Minnesotans have celebrated Juneteenth for decades. This year’s festivities are bound to be exceptionally memorable as people return to joyful socializing after the long pandemic quarantine. Dance parties and parades are exactly what we need right now. But what about the future? What does Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday mean for the future of racial justice in America? 

Host Angela Davis checked in on four different ways Minnesotans are celebrating Juneteenth — from a bike ride to a vaccination clinic. Juneteenth is back and here to stay.

Guests: 

  • Angela Conley is a Hennepin County commissioner representing District 4. 

  • Brother Shane M. Price is the co-founder of The Power of People Leadership Institute, which is organizing a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Juneteenth. The clinic will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center in Minneapolis. 

  • Mowha Altayeb is Miss Juneteenth in Rochester. She is a 15-year-old sophomore at John Marshall High School and member of the Rochester youth group Journie. Journie will host a Juneteenth Jubilee in Rochester on Saturday.

  • Junauda Petrus-Nasah is a writer and a co-founder of Free Black Dirt, which is organizing the Juneteenth Revolutionary Blackout Bike Ride.

Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.

Before you keep reading ...

MPR News is made by Members. Gifts from individuals fuel the programs that you and your neighbors rely on. Donate today to power news, analysis, and community conversations for all.