celebrate Black excellence

In honor of  Juneteenth 2022, Downers Grove Public Library is celebrating Black excellence and Black joy through the recognition of Black art, Black creativity, and Black innovation. 

Program Highlights


Juneteenth Black Excellence
Book Bundle Raffles

Raffle open June 20 - 26.
Winners will be notified Monday, June 27

Book bundles available for Kids (Birth - Grade 5), Teens (Grades 6-12), and Adults!


An Evening with Kwame Onwuachi
in association with
Illinois Libraries Present

Wednesday, June 22
6:30 p.m.


History of Headwraps

Meeting Room
Wednesday, June 29, 7 p.m.


Gallery Exhibit: Vera Olekanma

June 1 - 30

Enjoy local Downers Grove artist Vera Olekanma's African clothing in the North and Cafe galleries throughout the month. 

What is Juneteenth?


Juneteenth gets its name from combining "June" and "nineteenth," the day that Granger arrived in Galveston, bearing a message of freedom for the slaves there. Upon his arrival, he read out General Order No. 3, informing the residents that slavery would no longer be tolerated and that all slaves were now free and would henceforth be treated as hired workers if they chose to remain on the plantations, according to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. - from NPR, June 15, 2021  

June 19, 2021 marks the 156th anniversary of the last African American slaves being freed in Texas. President Biden signed into law Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, S. 475, creating a federal holiday to commemorate Juneteenth. This is the first federal holiday approved since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983. (GovInfo)

The Juneteenth Flag

The flag was designed by  activist Ben Haith, founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation (NJCF) in 1997 and revised in 2000. The star represents Texas, the Lone Star State, but also freedom of African Americans in all 50 states. The burst is inspired by a nova, a term that astronomers use to mean a new star, but also represents a new beginning for the African Americans of Galveston and throughout the land. The curve represents a new horizon. The colors, red, white and blue, represent the American flag, a reminder that slaves and their descendants were and are Americans.  

Learn more: 

Slavery Didn't End on Juneteenth: what you should know about this important day - NPR

Learn More with the National Museum of African American History and Culture

101 African American Firsts

local Celebrations

Juneteenth Celebration at Rotary Hill
June 19, 2022; 440 Aurora Ave., Naperville
Cost: Call for prices
This kid-friendly event at Rotary Hill will commemorate the emancipation of African Americans from slavery in the United States.

Juneteenth Prairie Powerwalk at Crabtree Nature Center
June 19, 2022; Address: 3 Stover Road, Barrington Hills
Cost: Free
Ages 16 and up are invited to join Crabtree Nature Center for an outdoor discussion and remembrance of this important holiday. Then, go on a fast-paced 3-mile summer prairie walk.

Juneteenth Independent Festival at Festival Park
June 18-19, 2022; 132 S. Grove Ave., Elgin
Cost: Free
Join Elgin Cultural Arts Commission and the African-American Coalition of Kane County for their Juneteenth Celebration. There will be live bands, BBQ, DJ night and a parade. 

Skokie Juneteenth
June 17-18, 2022; Where: Various Locations, Skokie
Cost: Free; fees for food and some activities
This two-part celebration acknowledges the past, present and future. On Friday, join for a discussion and on Saturday, celebrate Juneteenth with food and fun activities.

Check out the Chicago Parent article for these and additional celebrations in Chicago and surrounding areas. 

Books & Movies


For more information or questions email AskUs@dglibrary.org.