Commemorating Juneteenth in Burien

The City of Burien joins communities across the country in celebration and reflection on June 19
Posted on 06/17/2021
Burien proclamation overlaid on green background with text reading "Commemorating Juneteenth in Burien".

Burien joins communities across the country on June 19 in commemorating the day enslaved African Americans in Texas were finally told of their freedom in 1865, two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation declaring enslaved people in Confederate territory free.

Combining the words “June” and “nineteenth”, Juneteenth has been celebrated by the African American community for over 150 years and is the oldest known celebration marking the end of slavery in the US.

On May 13, 2021, Governor Jay Inslee made Juneteenth an official state holiday, and on June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed legislation establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Burien City Council has also agreed to discuss a new policy making Juneteenth an official City holiday at the next council meeting.

On June 7, 2021, Burien City Council issued a proclamation honoring Juneteenth in Burien and urged all Burien community members to join in the celebration. Adriene Buckley, who has worked for the City of Burien for 28 years and is a Burien resident, and Dr. George E. Noble, a pastor at Restoration Bible Church in Burien, accepted the proclamation.


Read, Watch, and Learn about Juneteenth

Watch King County’s Juneteenth Freedom Day Celebration 2021 video featuring keynote speaker Dr. Marcia Tate Arunga, Delbert Richardson of the Unspoken Truths American History Museum, and Acts on Stage Youth Performers. 

Ten museums of African American history and culture, including the Northwest African American Museum, joined forces to present “Juneteenth: Lift Every Voice”, a virtual program full of musical performances, lessons geared toward younger audiences, and creative ways to celebrate the holiday. 

King County Library System has compiled a list of Juneteenth virtual programs and book recommendations for all ages and interests.