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Juneteenth Festival to be Celebrated in Ghana

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Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates a significant moment in American history: the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of slavery, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. This day marked the freedom of over 250,000 enslaved people in Texas, the westernmost Confederate state, who had been unaware of their liberation.

Recognized as the longest-running African American holiday, Juneteenth became an official United States federal holiday in 2021 when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. This momentous step acknowledged the importance of Juneteenth in American history and its ongoing significance in the fight for equality and justice.

Juneteenth in Ghana is a celebration of unity and solidarity with our diaspora community. In alignment with the Beyond the Return Campaign, the African American Association of Ghana (AAAG) continues to honor Juneteenth and builds a sense of community between African Americans and Ghanaians. This year, the celebration will include an Awareness Parade and Festival on Saturday, June 22, 2024. Supported by Ghana’s Ministry of Tourism, Art & Culture, the Ghana Tourism Authority, and the Office of Diaspora Affairs in the presidency, this event marks the continuation of a tradition that resonates deeply with those of African descent worldwide.

The festivities will begin with a Juneteenth Celebration and Awareness Parade from the W.E.B Dubois Center for Pan Africanism to the Accra Tourist Information Center, where the Juneteenth Festival will take place. The day will feature a local vending marketplace, open mic sessions, DJs, musical performances, and panel discussions focused on the transition to living in Ghana for diasporans.

Detailed Schedule of Events

Wednesday, June 19, 2024 (Official Juneteenth US Holiday):

  • 3 pm – 4 pm: OPAL’s Walk for Freedom – A short walk through Cantonments in honor of Opal Lee.
  • 7 pm: West African Music and Arts Festival Opening (Invite Only).

Friday, June 21, 2024:

  • 7 pm: AAAG President’s Juneteenth Kick Back – Networking event with complimentary food, mocktails, and a cash bar at Chateau Nana Willine Boutique Hotel.

Saturday, June 22, 2024:

  • 7 – 9 am: Gather and stretch at WEB Dubois Center in preparation for the Juneteenth Parade.
  • 9 – 11 am: Juneteenth Parade from WEB Dubois to Accra Tourist Information Center.
  • 11:30 am – 6 pm: Juneteenth Festival at Accra Tourist Information Center, including various cultural activities, workshops, and panel discussions.

Workshops and Panel Discussions

The festival will also host several informative workshops and panel discussions at the Accra Tourist Information Center Conference Room:

  • 12 – 1:30 pm: “Living Legally” – Discussion on legal requirements and taxes for living in Ghana.
  • 1:45 – 3:15 pm: “Beyond the Return” – Exploring the history and future of the diaspora movement in Africa.
  • 3:30 – 5:00 pm: “Buying and Owning Land in Ghana” – Legal processes and practical experiences.
  • 5:15 – 6:45 pm: “Oath of Allegiance” – Exploring pathways to citizenship for diasporans.

The celebration will conclude with the West African Music and Arts Festival Closing Concert at Labadi Beach Hotel, open to all attendees.

About AAAG

The African American Association of Ghana is dedicated to promoting the cultural, social, spiritual, and economic well-being of African Americans and other people of African descent returning to Ghana. Their mission is to facilitate the integration of diasporans into Ghanaian society, building a bridge between the past and future, and celebrating the rich cultural heritage shared across continents. For more information or to participate as a sponsor or vendor, please contact the African American Association of Ghana at [email protected] or 053 557 0429.

Ivy Prosper

Digital Creator, Writer, Producer, Speaker