Juneteenth | WMUK

Juneteenth

Juneteenth Celebrations Planned In Kalamazoo

Jun 17, 2021
Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

There's a new national holiday. President Joe Biden has signed a law making Juneteenth a nationwide celebration.

Earlene McMichael / WMUK

Note: In commemoration of Juneteenth, we're reposting our story about this annual June 19th tradition. It first published and aired on June 17, 2016.

Every year, we celebrate our independence from Great Britain on the Fourth of July. But did you know that, in most states, there’s another independence day that some people also celebrate? It’s called Juneteenth, a 150-year-old African-American tradition that’s very much alive in Kalamazoo. But if Juneteenth has been around for 150 years, why haven’t more people heard of it?


Rufus Ferguson

Juneteenth is the June 19, 1865 date on which people in slavery in Texas were informed they had been granted freedom by the Emancipation Proclamation, two years after it was issued.  Jazz musician Rufus Ferguson, with saxophonist Seth Ebersole and bassist John Hébert, will present a Juneteenth concert at 6:30 pm on Friday, June 19, streaming live on The Gilmore Keyboard Festival's website, Youtube channel, and Facebook page, in partnership with Public Media Network.  The three will highlight the music of Black jazz musicians and composers.


A recent image of Kalamazoo shooting Tiana Carruthers, projected on a screen at Borgess Medical Center. (Edited for clarity)
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

A longtime educational organization will honor Kalamazoo shooting survivor Tiana Carruthers this Sunday. For almost two decades, Ujima Enterprises Incorporated has given awards to outstanding community members during its Juneteenth celebration of African-American history. Carruthers, who was the first of eight people that a gunman shot in February, has made national headlines for protecting her 7-year-old daughter and other children. She told them to run from the Richland Township playground they were in when she saw the gun.