Monique “Mo” Harper-Desir and Harrel Deshazier strike a pose while volunteering with Black Humboldt during Saturday’s Juneteenth celebration. Photos by Isabella Vanderheiden.


Community members gathered at Eureka’s Halvorsen Park this Saturday afternoon to celebrate Black culture and commemorate the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in honor of Juneteenth. 

Juneteenth — otherwise known as “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day” — commemorates the day in 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned that the Civil War had ended and they were free. Although President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was enacted in 1863, marking the official end of slavery in the United States, it could not be enforced in many places in the South until the Civil War ended in 1865. The day became a federally recognized holiday in 2021.

“We’re celebrating today all the Black and brown folks in our community, Black liberation, Black joy and all the different ways that Blackness shows up in our community [and] all over the world also,” Monique “Mo” Harper-Desir, co-founder of Black Humboldt, said during Saturday’s celebration. “We up in this African diaspora!”

Festivities are expected to continue ‘til 10 p.m. You can find more information on the event at this link. Happy Juneteenth, Humboldt!

Keep scrolling for more pictures of today’s celebration.