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Our Illinois 4-H Story

Celebrating Juneteenth

What is Juneteenth? Also known as Freedom Day, African American Independence Day, or Jubilee Day, this celebration marks a day in 1865 when enslaved Texans learned they’d be free—two months after Robert E. Lee surrendered and ended the Civil War and two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. But Juneteenth is more than an observance of freedom. It’s also a time to share the experiences of those who fought—literally and figuratively—to seek true freedom for future generations.

Celebrating Juneteenth Activity for youth ~ What does Freedom mean through storytelling?

Activity #1

Choose an impactful Black figure from US history, and write a 500 word essay explaining their vision and contribution to the liberation of Black people.

Activity #2

Create a piece of art, music, or dance that reflects why the day of Juneteenth is also referred to as Jubilee Day!

Activity #3

Share what you learned in these activities with your club by practicing your oral storytelling skills. Tell the story in a way that keeps everyone at the edge of their seats!

Cloverbud Activity

Use Activity #1 to draw a picture, make a song, or dance about something you learned from this person. Be sure to explain your art using the prompt in Activity #3.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Arsema Tesfai is a diversity, equity, and inclusion Intern with Illinois 4-H and a third year student at University of Illinois majoring in Political Science and minoring in Business. She is passionate about criminal justice and education reform and plans to go to law school.