Juneteenth is THE oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of ending America’s slavery. Unfortunately many people are unaware of how powerful this day is and the meaning behind it. So, we’re here to school you on why the celebration of Juneteenth is so important and special and where some of the biggest celebrations across America are taking place.
On June 19th, 1865 American slaves were finally freed creating what is now known as “Juneteenth”.” Juneteenth became a time to celebrate friends and family, prayer and remaining close to those they grew up around and loved. Today, the celebration continues across America and will forever be a day to remember and reflect on the evils of history and ensure that positive change continues to happen.
Because of the current state of the world, many celebrations have been cancelled, however celebrations are still much needed and happening in some bigger cities. Check out some of the festivals taking place from coast to coast this weekend below!
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
A community bicycle ride, festival and health fair hosted by Inner City Cycling Connection is honoring the life of Major Taylor, the first professional black athlete. From June 19th to June 21st you can celebrate our black heroes with health screenings, bike rides, food, concerts, reenactments, guest speakers, public readings, bike stunts and historical workshops and meetings.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
On June 19th from 1-6pm, you can join activists across Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and Queens to march and protest for justice for black lives at the Juneteenth 1,000,000 March taking place at 163 west 125th St.
From June 19th to the 21st, Brownsville Heritage House in Brooklyn is hosting their first Juneteenth Celebration promoting the theme “Looking Back, Moving Forward, Letting Go.” Events will include artwork displays, local artistry, poetry, gospel music, dancing, garden tours and slavery exhibits.
From June 19h to the 21st, the city of Atlanta is hosting a celebration at Mozley Park. Festivities include a 3-day music festival, step teams, car and bike show, community speakers, work shops and classes, Afro fashion shows, history, cuisine, yoga, Freedom runs and so much more! Grab your tickets here.
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
Nola is offerings tons of historical events to partake in for the weekend of Juneteenth. Congo Square, just outside of the French Quarter, is hosting festivals full of sculptures, history and tons of celebration.
Visiting The Whitney Plantation is another great idea to spend Juneteenth weekend. This is the only museum in Louisiana that directly focuses on slavery so you are sure to gain a lot of knowledge and perspective while visiting. They are actually re-opening on Juneteenth after being shut down because of coronavirus.
Chicago is excited to be celebrating 154 years of abolished slavery in the United States. The Black Mall is hosting their Seventh Annual Juneteenth Celebration at the National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum.
The Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago is hosting Muntu and BUFI Juneteenth Celebration including face painting, skits, drumming, speakers, dancing, stilt walkers, music and refreshments!
On June 26th, Stepp-up Steppers is hosting their 7th Annual Juneteenth steppers celebrations that is open to the public.
On June 19th, the Downs-Jones Library at Huston-Tillotson University is hosting Growing Your Roots During a Global Pandemic to use genealogy as a progressive tool. You can make a reservation on their Facebook page here.
There is a much larger and in depth list of of activities happening in Texas this coming weekend here as well with many virtual celebrations- so Texan or not, be sure to check them all out!
Denver is hosting their annual Juneteenth Parade in Five Points on Friday, June 19th starting at 11 a.m. at Manual High School. They have decided to proceed with the parade despite coronavirus and for great reason! There is so much to celebrate and precautions will be taken to ensure the health and safety of celebrators.
Be sure to use your resources to find any events happening in a city near you! Make this holiday count and celebrate in all ways possible!