June 19, 2021 marks the 156th year of Juneteenth — the celebration of the emancipation of African-Americans from slavery in the U.S. Here’s how major cities across the country are celebrating the holiday this year, both in-person and virtually:
New York, New York:
The 12th Annual Juneteenth festival gathers thousands of attendees in Brooklyn for a vibrant day of rich culture through music, dance, poetry, skits, history, vendors, and families. This year, it will be stretched across three days, June 18-20, with a Summit celebration that starts on Friday. The Summit will feature professionals and residents talking about Health and Wellness; a hybrid virtual/in-person festival on Saturday and a celebration of young entrepreneurs on Sunday at the Juneteenth Pomp.
‘I Dream a Dream That Dreams Back at Me’: A Juneteenth Celebration
Conceived and curated by the award-winning poet and artist Carl Hancock Rux, I Dream a Dream That Dreams Back at Me is an experiential site-specific event unfolding in four parts across the Lincoln Center campus. Vocalists Nona Hendryx, Marcelle Davies-Lashley and Kimberly Nichole are set to perform original music by Vernon Reid and Nona Hendryx, with lyrics by Lynn Nottage, and featuring specially made paper costumes by designer Dianne Smith.
‘What It Feels Like’ Black Artist Showcase
Brooklyn Space Modern Furniture is hosting a pop-up art gallery June 19th showcasing emerging New York City-based Black artists called “What it Feels Like.” This immersive experience highlights the joys and sorrows of what it feels like to be an artist, to be seen, to feel unheard or to be an artist of color in the art world today.
Photo by Kait Moore.
Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade & Festival
Started by the Pennsylvania Juneteenth Initiative, this event is heralded as the largest annual Juneteenth celebration in the nation. Due to COVID restrictions, the city will not have its annual parade, but will see a Freedom March followed by an inaugural “Art in the Park” Exhibit at Malcolm X Park. Organizers are also introducing this year the Philadelphia Juneteenth Freedom Day Float House Competition.
Juneteenth Atlanta Parade & Music Festival
Held from June 18-20th at Centennial Olympic Park, this annual festival will include live music, arts, performances, a parade and kid-friendly activities. This year’s theme is “True Identity = True Freedom.”
The Juneteenth Experience
A multidisciplinary, immersive performance depicting the past, present and future of Juneteenth, this event celebrates freedom, community, Black arts and culture, and Black Miami. Presented by Hued Songs and the Rhythm Foundation through the City of Miami Beach’s Arts in the Parks program, The Juneteenth Experience is directed by Michelle Grant Murray and Wilkie Ferguson III.
City of Miami Beach Presents: Juneteenth Day of Freedom
The City of Miami Beach continues its celebration of this holiday with Juneteenth Day of Freedom at the rainbow eucalyptus tree at Pride Park on June 19 from 9 to 10 a.m. In addition to performances by the Peter London Dance Company, poet Rebecca Butterfly Vaughns and the New World School of the Arts High School Jazz Band, the event honors two young residents of Miami Beach: Egyptia Green, who held Black Lives Matter demonstrations every Sunday for a year, and Leandra Hall, a high school senior who won the Miami Herald Silver Knight award for creating “AfroTechie” to give minority children access to STEM education.
City of Miami’s 20th Annual Juneteenth Commemoration Celebration
The City of Miami and partners are hosting the 20th Annual Juneteenth Commemoration Celebration at Reeves Park in Historic Overtown, from noon to 8 p.m. on June 19. This year’s theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity, Equity and Diversity.” The family-friendly celebration includes food, vendors, Junkanoo, arts & crafts, and live entertainment hosted by Ingrid B., with performances by J. Holiday, LaVie, Melodic Vibrations and Jalisa Faye.
BLCK Market Expo
BLCK Market’s mission is to provide a safe place for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Curated to the Black American experience — the BLCK Market also provides an opportunity to showcase quality brands and products to tens of thousands of consumers.
Juneteenth – Celebrating Freedom Day
For 2021, the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board and the Juneteenth Community Board commemorate Juneteenth with a week of activities in various parks. A variety of in-person, virtual and distanced options are available, including story strolls, drive-in movies, panels, live music and more.
Juneteenth Caravan & Festival
Beginning on Chicago’s West Side, the city-wide Juneteenth Caravan will pass through historic neighborhoods and sites on its way to the South Side’s A. Phillip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum. The caravan ends with a two-day recognition ceremony and spoken word concert, and will be live-streamed for those who cannot attend in person.
Roll N Peace Juneteenth bike ride
Presented by Think Outside Da Block, the annual Roll N Peace event uses cycling to address the public safety and mental health and wellness of the Englewood community. Organizers say, “Roll N Peace decreases violence through community presence, increases physical fitness with exercise and mobility, and improves emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing through intentional community engagement. With COVID-19 in mind, cycling is a great way to abide by social distancing measures while also getting outside, having fun, getting exercise, and having social interactions, all of which are good for mental health and immunity.”
Los Angeles, California:
Leimert Park Rising: Juneteenth Celebration, Stronger Together
A two-day celebration of Black liberation built to educate, entertain and activate while featuring art, ideas and performances from local talent including Leimert’s own Grammy Award-winning Terrace Martin. Organizers herald this event “A true celebration of Black liberation through culture, commerce and cooperative economics.”
Cover photo courtesy of Juneteenth NYC.
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