Our Mission

In 1997, a group of Roxbury residents and friends formed the Roxbury HomeComing Committee.

The committee was formed to establish a large-scale family reunion event in the neighborhood to honor our shared roots and celebrate the historic “Juneteenth” Day. The resulting Roxbury Pride/Juneteenth Celebration has since drawn thousands of families and tens of thousands of people annually to Franklin Park.

The mission of the event is to bring Roxbury natives, who now reside all over the world, home for the weekend; unite African American families across generations; commemorate our ancestors; take pride in our culturally rich community; and celebrate a significant moment in our history from slavery to freedom.

Every year, attendees come to the Roxbury Pride/Juneteenth Celebration from as far west as California, the south of Florida, the Caribbean Islands, and Japan and Hawaii, as far north as Canada to enjoy our community’s beauty, treasures, families, and pride. Politicians such as Governor Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and City Councilors mix with local residents in spirited exchanges of dialogue. The day exemplifies the best of our community’s heritage, bringing everyone together in peace and harmony.  

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.  

From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement.

It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. 

It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long over due. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.

Roxbury is the heart of Boston’s Black community. Now a city neighborhood, it was one of the first towns founded in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, and became a city in 1846 until annexed to Boston on January 5, 1868. The original town of Roxbury once included the current Boston neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, West Roxbury, the South End and much of Back Bay.

In the early 20th century, Roxbury became home to recent immigrants - A thriving Jewish community developed around Grove Hall, along Blue Hill Avenue, Seaver Street and into Dorchester along Columbia Road. A large Irish population also developed, with many activities centered around Dudley Square, which just before and following annexation into Boston, became a central location for Roxbury commerce. Following a migration from the South to northern cities in the 1940s and 1950s, Roxbury became the center of the African-American community in Boston. The center of African American residential and social activities in Boston had formerly been on the north slope of Beacon Hill and the South End.