On June 19, the United States recognizes the holiday Juneteenth. Also known as Freedom Day or Julibee Day, Juneteenth celebrates the day that the last enslaved African Americans in Texas were freed following the Emancipation Proclamation.
Though the ongoing pandemic is limiting what events are taking place city-wide, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate Juneteenth this year. Here are a few New York City-based events you can check out this weekend.
A couple of marches are taking place on June 19 that are meant to reflect on the meaning of Juneteenth while bringing awareness to the holiday. From 2 to 5 p.m. activists will gather at Broadway and Park Place and then march toward City Hall for speeches. At 6 p.m., marchers will gather at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn and march through Flatbush to Fort Greene Park, where performances and more.
On June 20, there will be another Juneteeth walk, this time through Harlem. Line-up will begin at 10 a.m. at 116th Street between Malcolm X Boulevard and 7th Avenue. The walk will begin officially at 11 a.m. – masks are required and social distancing will be enforced.
Juneteenth: Then and Now Virtual Town Hall
From 7 to 8 p.m. on June 19, BRIC is hosting a free virtual town hall meeting on their YouTube channel. The town hall will address freedom in Black communities while they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, state-sanctioned violence and benign neglect. Viewers can submit questions ahead of time through bitly.com/bheardform.
John Jay College Juneteenth Panel
At 11 a.m. on June 19, John Jay College will host a panel discussion on Zoom to discuss prosecution and racial justice. The panel will include Author & Professor of Law James Forman, Cook County, IL State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, John Jay College President Karol Mason, and National Religious Campaign Against Torture’s Johnny Perez, and will be hosted by Institute for Innovation in Prosecution Director and former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Lucy Lang. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
SummerStage Anywhere 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth Celebration
Enjoy a virtual day of dance to celebrate Juneteenth. Starting at 12 p.m. on June 19, Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage’s SummerStage Anywhere digital series will honor the 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth with a day of tribute performances, including an excerpt from RudduR Dance’s ballet, “WITNESS”. The event will be streamed on SummerStage Anywhere’s Instagram page. The event will culminate at 7 p.m. with a panel discussion on SummerStage’s YouTube channel led by Hope Boykin of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, followed by a tribute performance of “HANGING TREE”, featuring Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet Dance Theatre, vocalist Marcelle Davies-Lashley, and poet Carl Hancock Rux.
Brownsville Heritage House Juneteenth Celebration
The Brownsville Heritage House, located at 581 Mother Gaston Boulevard, is hosting a weekend-long Juneteenth celebration. Each day will host a number of activities, including gospel performances, slavery exhibits, garden tours, dances, works from local artists and more. The events will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on June 19 and 12 to 8 p.m. on June 20 & 21.
11th Annual Juneteenth 2020 “Curated Virtual Festival” Experience
On June 20, Umoja Events is hosting a virtual day of family fun to celebrate Juneteenth. The day will include a talent show, a parade, multiple exhibitors and so much more. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is free to attend, however registering on Eventbrite is strongly encouraged. Click here to register or visit www.juneteenthny.com for more info.
Juneteenth Celebration for the Culture
From 12 to 7 p.m. on June 20, participants can head over to the 125th Street Entrance of West Harlem Piers for an outdoor, socially distant Juneteenth celebration. Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket, snacks and beverages as you enjoy games and conversations with friends and family about Juneteenth. This event is free to the public.