On June 19, 1865, the remaining enslaved people of Galveston, Texas were set free, despite they and their enslavers having known of the Emancipation Proclamation being signed into order two years prior. Since then June 19, or Juneteenth, has commemorated the day that the remaining enslaved African Americans were officially freed. Although many communities and states have celebrated the day for years, Juneteenth officially became a federal holiday in 2021. In addition to an historical moment, today Juneteenth celebrates African American freedom and achievement, community and cultural heritage.
Learn more about the series of events leading up to Juneteenth, the history of what followed shortly thereafter up to today, and ways you yourself can observe Juneteenth at Juneteenth.com.
You can find plenty of recipes for any gathering here, but we recommend specifically seeking out Black cookbook authors and food historians for your Juneteenth recipes.
Some of our favorites include:
- Dr. Jessica B. Harris, culinary historian, author of twelve critically acclaimed books documenting the foods and foodways of the African Diaspora, winner of the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award. Her work inspired the Netflix docuseries High on the Hog
- Michael Twitty, food writer, independent scholar, culinary historian , and historical interpreter personally charged with preparing, preserving and promoting African American foodways and its parent traditions in Africa and her Diaspora and its legacy in the food culture of the American South
- Tabitha Brown, restaurateur and vegan food influencer (be sure to check out her cooking videos on YouTube, Tik Tok and Facebook)
- Bryant Terry, James Beard & NAACP Image Award-winning chef, educator, and author renowned for his activism to create a healthy, just, and sustainable food system
- Nicole A. Taylor, James Beard Award-nominated food writer, master home cook, producer and author of Watermelon & Red Birds: A cookbook for Juneteenth and Black Celebrations