2023 Juneteenth Celebrations in Corpus Christi

TABPHE-CC Gears Up for its Annual 10 Days of Juneteenth Jubilee Celebrations

The Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education-Corpus Christi will kick off its annual Juneteenth celebrations on Jun. 9.

2023 Juneteenth Celebrations in Corpus Christi

Claudia Melton performing live at the 2022 Juneteenth Festival in Corpus Christi, Texas. Photo provided by Debbie Noble

Beginning on Jun. 9, the 17th Annual 10 Days of Juneteenth Jubilee Celebrations and Juneteenth Festival, organized by the local nonprofit Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education-Corpus Christi (TABPHE-CC) will kick off its celebration of the holiday.

The significance of the ten-day celebration leading up to the Jun. 19 holiday is commemorative of the ten days it took Major General Gordon Granger to ride to Galveston, Texas where he would read and announce the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865.

This order informed Texans of the Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, thereby freeing all slaves. It was then that Juneteenth was born, annually commemorating the freeing of slaves, with Texas being the first state to declare the celebration a state holiday. Despite its historical significance, Juneteenth wasn’t recognized as a federal holiday until 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law.

2023 Juneteenth Celebrations in Corpus Christi
Community members dance and enjoy the live performances at the 2022 Corpus Christi Juneteenth Festival. Photo provided by Debbie Noble

“It is our hope that the community is shown the full spirit and reasons behind Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday,” TABPHE-CC President Simone Sanders shared. “The principles of celebrating the fight for freedom, liberation, self-reliance and advancements in unity are pieces and components of these celebrations and one of the main reasons why we not only celebrate the day itself but also include the 10 days leading up to the notice from General Granger.”

This year’s lineup of events organized by TABPHE-CC will feature a continued and expanded focus on health and wellness. An in-depth anxiety and depression workshop will be held on Jun. 13 at the E.L. Harvin Center (Retama Room) on Del Mar College’s Heritage Campus from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Guest Speaker Mirakal McGill, an LPC-Associate and RPT-Trained Therapist, will guide attendees through a workshop centered around the recognition and management of anxiety and depression.

In addition to the mental health workshop, TABPHE-CC has also included a series of free health screenings and health events centered around diabetes education throughout the 10 days. “It is our plan to continue expanding our health awareness programs as well as our educational programs that focus on helping the community,” Sanders said.

2023 Juneteenth Celebrations in Corpus Christi
Live music is always something to look forward to at the annual Corpus Christi Juneteenth Festival. Photo provided by Debbie Noble

The Juneteenth Festival will be held on Jun. 17 at Water’s Edge Park from 4 – 10 p.m. and will feature a 5K run/walk, food trucks, vendors, a kids zone area and live entertainment, including Kingdom of Christ Community Singers, Top Shlef SA, Bayou City Brass Band, Juvenile and more.

For Sanders, the importance of these events is truly centered around community and education. “We consider it very important that our programming promotes women, men, children and families. We strive to make sure our approach is introduced during Juneteenth and we maintain that contact and service to the community throughout the rest of the year,” she said. “We think it’s of the utmost importance that we educate the community on the holiday and maybe influence others to serve in the future. We have had a number of people join and participate since our first [festival] six years ago.”
The schedule of events is as follows:

JUNE 9 – The 2023 Juneteenth Kickoff will be held at Nueces Brewing & Barbecue from 6 – 8 p.m. and is free to attend.

JUNE 11 – A Sunday Service will be hosted at Brooks AME Worship Center in memory of Reverand Adam Carrington.

JUNE 12, 13 & 15 – A free diabetes health screening hosted by the Healthy South Texas Mobile Medical Unit will take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Jun. 12 in the Ovel Williams Senior Center parking lot, from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Jun. 13 at the Del Mar College Heritage Campus and from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Jun. 15 in the Walmart Supercenter parking lot.

JUNE 13 – The Recognition and Management of Anxiety and Depression in the African American Community event will include special guest speaker Mirakal McGill. There will be a question-and-answer portion of the event and light refreshments are included. This will take place from 5:30 – 7 p.m. in the Harvin Center at Del Mar College Heritage Campus.
JUNE 14 – Taking place at the CC Public Health Department, a Diabetes Education Course will be held from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. and includes a free lunch, health screenings and more.
JUNE 16 – The 10th Annual Black & White Dance & Comedy Show will be held at the Crystal Reception Hall, Ste. C3 and feature a stand-up performance from comedian GrossMann. The event will begin at 8:30 p.m. and both tickets and tables are available for purchase by calling (361) 510-0123.
JUNE 17 – From 4 – 10 p.m. at Water’s Edge Park, the 2023 Corpus Christi Juneteenth Festival will include a 5K walk/run, live entertainment food trucks, vendors, a kids zone and more. The festival is free to attend and open to all.
JUNE 18 – The Juneteenth Day of Service will take place at Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church at 10:30 a.m. Then, make plans to attend the Family Fun Day in the Park at Dr. H.J. Williams Park with music, food, family fun, giveaways and more.
For more information on event details, visit TABPHE-CC’s website.