Boone County News Release

Press Archives Press Room

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Janet Thompson
Boone County District II Commissioner
Phone: (573) 886-4307

Boone County Celebrates Juneteenth

June 18, 2020 – Since 1865, June 19 has been celebrated as Juneteenth, a national commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. The celebration, originating in Galveston, Texas, marks the date the Union soldiers landed and shared the news that enslaved people were now free.

President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863. However, it wasn’t until the surrender of General Lee in April 1965 and the availability of enough soldiers to enforce the law that those individuals were truly able to embrace their freedom.

Juneteenth celebrations vary, ranging from gatherings of friends and family to picnics to speakers and more, but they are all commemorations of Black freedom and achievement.

The Juneteenth website elaborates: “It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long overdue. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.”

Below are just a few of the Juneteenth Celebrations in Boone County.

Juneteenth Heritage Walk
Ongoing event
Facebook event page
The two-mile African American Heritage Trail was completed in 2019 and features over 30 historical markers commemorating the Black experience and Black achievement in Columbia. The Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., invites the community to explore the trail and post pictures of the experience using hashtags to compete for prizes. Learn more and register.

Como Celebrates Juneteenth
11 a.m.-6 p.m. June 19
Eventbrite free registration
As a community we want to celebrate this momentous occasion in a safe way during this pandemic. Even though this is a free event, please register so we can keep track of expected numbers for social distancing purposes. Space is limited. We will kick off the day in the late morning with a socially distanced gathering in a community parking lot. There will be a Fredrick Douglas re-enactment, food trucks, t-shirts, and kits for kids. We will continue to celebrate through virtual opportunities throughout the day, followed by the burying of a time capsule to conclude our event.

Solidarity Walk
6-8 p.m. June 19
Route from WG6 parking lot (corner of Hospital Drive and Tiger Ave.) to Boone County Courthouse
MU Health Care’s African Heritage Employee Resource Group, Pride Employee Resource Group, and MU Women of Health Care Employee Resource Group have partnered with Emergency Services for their inaugural Solidarity Walk.

“As we march together, side by side, the hope is to communicate with one another and display a vision for the community of Columbia that we are the bridge to foster an environment of solidarity for the betterment of our community, walking and working alongside each other.”