The relationship between Juneteenth and the City of San Francisco dates back to 1951, Dr. Wesley Johnson Sr. invited the Bay Area’s African American community to celebrate a June 19th celebration at the Texas Playhouse on Fillmore Street, a popular lounge he owned. The first parade was led by Johnson and the former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. At that first parade, they rode out on white horses, wearing Stetson cowboy hats. The community businesses and residents enthusiastically supported that first Juneteenth celebration and it quickly becomes a much-anticipated date on the summer calendar. Many people in the parade were proud and pleased to be involved in celebrating the freedom of African Americans in this country.
Today the historic San Francisco Juneteenth is one of the largest African American celebrations in California and its sole purpose is for historical awareness, building self-esteem with our youth, connecting organizations with the community and providing an opportunity for African American vendors to market their business and showcase their craft.
The San Francisco Juneteenth Festival Committee is committed to continuing the historical tradition of our ancestors by celebrating this holiday to nurture and facilitate the empowerment of our community through education, partnerships, and interaction with community resources that are committed to community enrichment.