Juneteenth Celebration

Juneteenth_Banner 2023


Juneteenth marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all 250,000 enslaved people were freed. It came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Honoring Juneteenth is more complicated than just recognizing the emancipation of slaves in our country. It is a day that focuses on fighting racism here and abroad that prevents equity, creates disproportionate suffering, and harms Black adults and children across the globe.

It was the emancipation of enslaved people in the US that allowed this country to turn the page from its most heinous past and chart a more prosperous future. Although it is a celebration, it also signifies our obligation to continue to be advocates for truth and freedom in our communities and throughout the world.

City Events for Juneteenth 2023

42: The Jackie Robinson Story  - Friday, June 16, at dusk (around 9 p.m.)

42 the movie banner

The City of Bowie will kick off the Juneteenth holiday with the screening of the movie "42" at Allen Pond Park. The movie honors the contributions of Jackie Robinson, who in 1947 became the first African American MLB player in modern history.  Both moving and inspirational, the film 42 follows Robinson’s trials and tribulations as he signs on to the Brooklyn Dodgers under team manager Branch Rickey. The film broke the record for highest box office opening weekend by a baseball movie. As of 2014, no major league player will be allowed to wear #42 without special request or approval.

As a review in ESSENCE magazine stated: 

In the film, Chadwick Boseman humanizes the Brooklyn Dodger first baseman and Hall of Famer and adeptly captures the challenges and hatred Robinson faced during that tumultuous time. Instead of giving viewers a sanitized version of history meant to show Robinson at his best, Boseman masterfully depicts the emotional turmoil Robinson experienced. 

Bring food, a blanket, or chairs to enjoy the movie. Come early for a game of trivia and line dancing. The movie will begin at dusk.  

Juneteenth Jubilee - Saturday, June 17, 2023 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.


The City celebration will bring appreciation and recognition of African American history by creating an atmosphere of unity through a modern-day celebration of heritage that educates and engages the broader community, and inspires future changemakers. Join us for food, fun, games, marketplace vendors, and entertainment.  This is event is open to the entire community of all ages. More details to come.

Fathers & Families Juneteenth Celebration Bike Ride - Sunday, June 18, 9 a.m.

The City of Bowie Police Department invites fathers and families to celebrate Father's Day with a morning bike ride. There is a 20-mile option, or a 45-mile option, both are for experienced riders. The bike ride begins and ends at Allen Pond Park. Pre-registration is required. More details to come. 

7-on-7 Football Tournament  - Sunday, June 18, 9 a.m.

The City of Bowie Police Department invites fathers and families to join them in a Father's Day and Juneteenth celebration. More details to come. This event will take place at Mitchellville Fields in Allen Pond Park.

Juneteenth Summer Concert Series - Sunday, June 18, 7 p.m.

Enjoy the reggae sounds of "Proverbs Band" as they kick off Bowie's Summer Concert Series at Allen Pond Park with a Juneteenth celebration. Enjoy food, marketplace vendors, and music at the Robert V. Setera Amphitheater at Allen Pond Park.  


Allen Pond Park is located at 3330 Northview Drive, Bowie.

Links to other Juneteenth videos:


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Black Heritage - Juneteenth - Prince George's County Memorial Library System (pgcmls.info) https://youtu.be/kJ_glcMeo3w (MNCPPC Juneteenth 2015)

Juneteenth Worldwide Celebration

Honoring Juneteenth Through Art in Galveston, Texas - The New York Times (nytimes.com) The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth | National Museum of African American History and Culture (si.edu)

Freedmen’s Bureau Transportation Records: Letters of “Sold” Former Slaves Seeking to Rejoin Loved Ones by Damani Davis, Reference Archivist at the National Archives in Washington, DC. From Rediscovering Black History, the National Archives blog of the Black History Guide, sharing records relating to the Black Experience at the National Archives.

Video: Genealogy and the “Freedman’s Bank:” Records of the Freedman’s Savings & Trust Company by Damani Davis, Reference Archivist at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Handout online. 

Video: Freedman's Bank 150th Anniversary Celebration

The Freedmen’s Bureau Preservation Project, by (retired) archivist Reginald Washington, Prologue Magazine

Sealing the Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony, Freedmen's Bureau Marriage Records, by (retired) archivist Reginald Washington, Prologue Magazine  

National Archives Safeguards Original ‘Juneteenth’ General Order, National Archives News

The Freedmen's Bureau records at the National Archives

Video: Let No Man Put Asunder: Freedmen's Bureau Marriage Records, by (retired) archivist Reginald Washington

Online resources: African American History National Archives News special topics page

Records of the Freedmen’s Bureau and the Reconstruction of Black Families, Rediscovering Black History, by Bob Nowatzki, Archives Technician, National Archives in College Park, MD.

Links to Freedmen's Bureau Resources

Select Images from the Freedmen's Bureau

The Rost Home Colony, St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, Prologue

From Slave Women to Free Women: The National Archives and Black Women's History in the Civil War Era, Prologue

Slave Emancipation Through the Prism of Archives Records, Prologue

The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company and African American Genealogical Research, by Reginald Washington, Prologue