Houston Public Media, WNYC to air Juneteenth radio special Sunday evening

Houston Public Media listeners are encouraged to participate in the show via social media and call in to discuss the holiday.

Lucio Vasquez/Houston Public Media
Houston Public Media and WNYC will mark Juneteenth with a special live radio broadcast Sunday evening.

WNYC's "The United States of Anxiety" Juneteenth Special will feature an interview with the Texas woman who pushed for the day to become a federal holiday, a report from Houston's Juneteenth event at Emancipation Park and calls from Texas listeners.

Also featured — Nicole Taylor, author of the first Juneteenth cookbook, "Watermelon and Redbirds".

Juneteenth has long been a Texas holiday, but in the wake of the post-George Floyd social justice movement it has gone national.

The holiday itself is a commemoration of an order issued on June 19, 1865 that emancipated slaves in Texas. While the Emancipation Proclamation was issued two and a half years earlier, that day is considered the end of slavery in Texas and across the United States.

U.S. Gen. Gordon Granger read General Orders No. 3 on that day in Galveston: "The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free."

"The United States of Anxiety" host Kai Wright plans to discuss Juneteenth traditions within Black communities in Texas and examine how they feel about a Texas holiday gaining national recognition.

Texan Opal Lee is credited with being the person who helped make Juneteenth a federal holiday and is called by some the "grandmother of Juneteenth." President Joe Biden signed a bill last year making the day a federal holiday.

Houston Public Media listeners are encouraged to participate in the show via social media and call in on Sunday evening. The program will air from 5-6 p.m. on 88.7 FM and stream live on

Mark Norris

Mark Norris

Director of Digital Content

As Director of Digital Content, Mark Norris oversees all digital coverage for Houston Public Media, including the station’s website, social media platforms and apps. Born and raised in Dallas, Norris graduated from Southern Methodist University with degrees in both journalism and political science. As a Metro reporter for The Dallas...

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