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Celebrating Juneteenth In The Willamette Valley

By Elise McClain

In 2021, Oregon established Juneteenth as a state-recognized holiday; we hope that, someday soon, it becomes a federal holiday.

We at the Willamette Valley Visitors Association recognize that the Emancipation Proclamation alone did not grant freedom to all in our country. Two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was enacted, on June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Texas to inform enslaved African-Americans the Civil War had ended and that they were free.

Yet we wanted to mark the occasion with a page honoring Juneteenth-complete with a Juneteenth timeline going back to 1865, ideas for celebrating, and resources for learning more. 

Juneteenth Timeline

We have partnered with Clinton Street Consulting, who created the below informative resource on ways your business can take action in support of Juneteenth (June 19, 2022). Click the below image to access the PDF for full use of linked URLs in the image.

Juneteenth Resources

These resources can offer background information and context on Juneteenth:

Audio interview: Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed discusses Juneteenth, the legacy of slavery, and more on NPR's "Fresh Air" in this 41-minute interview.

Book: Annette Gordon-Reed's On Juneteenth looks at the origins of Juneteenth and the hardships that Black Americans have endured in the century since.

Podcast: This New York Times podcast looks at the history and meaning of Juneteenth-and grapples with what freedom means in the modern-day United States..

Juneteenth Events in the Willamette Valley

Businesses throughout the Willamette Valley are hosting events in honor of Juneteenth. Here's how (and where) to celebrate in 2022:

June 18, Albany: The NAACP's Linn-Benton Branch is holding a Juneteenth celebration and Black-owned Business Expo featuring a keynote speech from Ayisha Elliot (host of "Black Girl From Eugene" podcast), music from a DJ, children's activities, food, and more.

June 18, Corvallis area: Several regional partners are holding a Juneteenth at Letitia Carson's Land event; the gathering will include informal tours of the land, which once belonged to one of the first Black women to settle in Oregon, as well as speeches about the ongoing effort to study the land. The Letitia Carson Legacy Project is also looking for volunteers for a public archeology opportunity earlier that day; learn more about the LCLP Juneteenth Volunteer Archaeology Opportunity here.

June 18, Wilsonville: The City of Wilsonville will host its second-ever Juneteenth celebration in Town Center Park; the event will include live music, food, a keynote address, educational materials, and more.

June 19, Eugene: The Eugene Juneteenth Celebration will spotlight guest speakers, live entertainment, Black-owned food vendors, children's activities, and other fun events in Alton Baker Park.

Learn more about other Juneteenth events throughout Oregon from the Oregon Black Pioneers.

If you'd like to submit a Juneteenth event to be featured on this page, please email

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