Juneteenth celebrations are in full swing in Chicago this weekend, with many gathering for events all over the city to honor the occasion.
The holiday commemorates the day in 1865 when enslaved African Americans in Texas finally were told they were free — two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
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“Juneteenth is not a ‘let’s go take advantage of the latest sales at a retail outlet’ holiday,” Michelle Duster, a Chicago professor, author and historian told Sun-Times reporter Mariah Rush in a recent interview. “It’s more about sort of appreciation and reflection. It’s really family-centric or community-centric, with a sense of pride. It’s an acknowledgment that we actually built this country physically.”
This weekend, joy and community lit up many parts of the city, including West Garfield Park, where a Juneteenth parade stepped off on a sunny Saturday. A similar spirit illuminated Douglass Park as families and neighbors enjoyed the Juneteenth Village Fest.
Sun-Times photographers were there to capture these moments and more. Here’s a look at some of the sights and sounds of Juneteenth 2022 in Chicago.