Juneteenth has been celebrated since 1866 to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. This year, it was declared a Federal holiday, and as President Biden said, “All Americans can feel the power of this day, and learn from our history.”
In D.C., the day included a Million Moe March that was on U St. and up and down 16th St., with celebrations on Black Lives Matter Plaza.
On Black Lives Matter Plaza, there was music from Long Live GoGo, dancing, and celebration all afternoon.
D.C.’s Emancipation Day
In addition to the Juneteenth celebration, D.C. has its own Emancipation Day on April 16th, the anniversary of when slavery ended in the District in 1862.
From 1866 to 1901, this day was celebrated by speeches and a parade by the White House which most Presidents reviewed. In 2002, the tradition was revived, and since then (except during the pandemic), there’s been a parade on Pennsylvania Avenue, a concert, and in most years a fireworks display set off in the middle of the avenue.