What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is an American holiday celebrated on June 19. It memorializes June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger read orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free. After the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1st, 1863, and put into motion, many enslaved African Americans were notified of their freedom. However, enslaved people who were in Texas did not get notification until 2.5 years after the proclamation, which is why we celebrate this day as the ending of chattel slavery.

Join our Juneteenth Celebration!

Juneteenth Celebration 2024 Graphic

Friday, June 21, 2024 from 4:00-6:30PM in the SUB Ballrooms

This year's theme is "What We Do With Our Freedom."

Fun-filled family-friendly festival featuring a panel of speakers, joyful music, and delectable historically significant food. Come celebrate black excellence and honor American history. All ages welcome for activities, games, & more!

This event is hosted by the Black Student Union and supported by the following sponsors: College of Engineering, Office of the President, Office of Student Engagement, ASMSU, Dean of Students, Office of Research and Economic Development, Library, College of Arts and Architecture, College of Agriculture, College of EHHD, Bobcat Athletics, & Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Event Timeline

4:00 pm: Doors open, food, and music

4:30 – 5:15 pm: Welcome from BSU, Poetry Collective performance, and panel of speakers 

5:15 – 6:30 pm: Explore resources, play games, and enjoy music by Josh Perkins! 

  • Art activities, Athletics, and a Kids Reading Nook
  • Check out community resource tables
  • Enter Raffles – Winners drawn at 6PM, must be present to win
Games & Activities

For Anyone:

  • Juneteenth Flag Interactive Art Mosaic
  • Photo Booth
  • Cornhole
  • Double Dutch Jump Rope
  • Football Clinic with Bobcat Football Players

For Kids:

  • Story Time Reading Nook
  • Quilt Coloring Pages (based on Faith Ringgold's book Tar Beach)
  • Free Books to take Home!
Poetry Performance

The Bozeman Poetry Collective

Led by Jasmine James (they/them)

  • Performance will showcase current Black Poets
Panel of Speakers

Destini French

Chris Walch

Jody Owens

  • One of the most accomplished players in Bobcat football history, Current Safety Coach for the MSU Football team

Lyla Brown

  • MSU Alum and creator of the Black Student Union, Senior Organizing Manager at Forward Montana
Music Performers

Justus Entertainment Group DJ

  • Josh Perkins
Raffle Items


MSU’s Juneteenth Cookout & Celebration Guide

Celebrating on June 19th is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

1. Cookout and Eat Together

Invite and gather with the people you would like to celebrate with on the 19th! Share some of this history
before eating. Having an open conversation about the history of Juneteenth honors the history and
significance of the day, and incorporate Black history throughout the year.

Planning your Cookout and Movie Night

  • Hype up your household! Get those around you excited to celebrate this history with you, and get them excited to learn more about why it is a holiday!
  • Find a screen! The most important consideration for choosing where to hold your cookout is your ability to comfortably watch and listen to a movie! This could be on a laptop, or could be on a TV or projector.
  • Make some food! There are a few recipe linked below to get you thinking about making some food to celebrate Juneteeth. There are many more foods to make, but these are a few ideas.

Recipes to make for your Cookout

Collard Greens


Fried Chicken

Fried Okra

Tea Cakes

2. Join Ms. Opal Lee’s Walk

Opal Lee is considered the “Grandmother of Juneteeth” for her leading efforts to get Juneteeth recognized nationally. Ms. Opal Lee’s Walk is a 2.5 mile walk to represent the amount of time it took for word to reach all enslaved people about the Emancipation Proclamation. Get outside and celebrate in your own community.

3. Watch Media that Educates about Black History

There are various differnt ways to educate yourself and those around you about Juneteeth. There are
T.V. show episodes, books, and documentaries that you can watch to learn some of this history.


Links to poems, videos, and additional history about Juneteenth

History about Juneteenth

"Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou

'Blackish' Juneteenth Video

"The People Could Fly" by Virginia Hamilton

"Caged Bird" By Maya Angelou

The Thirteenth Documentary (free on YouTube and Netflix)

Resources for kids

"The Hate You Give" Movie (pay to rent or buy on YouTube)

"Monster" by Walter Dean Myers (free on Kindle AudioBooks)

Reading Rainbow: Follow the Drinking Gourd ($1.99 on Amazon)


Explore Juneteenth Resources

Montana Historical Society

Explore Local Black History via Montana’s African American Heritage Resources Project

The White House

Read "A Proclamation on Juneteenth Day of Observance, 2022" from The White House

Presidential Remarks

Read the 2023 Presidential Remarks at a Juneteenth Concert


Learn More About Past MSU Juneteenth Celebrations Here:



Monday, June 19, 2023 from 5:00-7:00PM @ Romney Oval

Fun-filled family friendly festival featuring powerful speakers, joyful music, and delectable dishes rich with history. Come join us in celebrating black excellence and honoring American history. All ages welcome for educational activities, games and more.

This event is hosted by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, the Diversity & Inclusion Student Commons, and ASMSU.

Read the MSU press release.



  • Fried Chicken
  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Collard Greens
  • Cornbread
  • Pecan Dessert Bars
  • Sweet Potato Pie
  • Peach Cobbler
  • Red Drink
  • Lemonade
  • Sweet Tea


Live jazz featuring artists from MSU's Jazz Bands:

  • Lawrence Dyneson - Tenor Saxophone
  • Sienna Chandler - Trumpet
  • Kellan Moore - Piano
  • Audrina Williams - Bass
  • Carson Putnam - Drums


6-7 pm:
Justus Entertainment DJ


  • MSU students, staff, and faculty
  • Destini French, licensed cosmetologist and owner of Cultured Roots MT


  • Corn hole
  • Ladder ball
  • Connect 4