Across the country and around the world people are taking time today to reflect on the history of the United States and continue to support our change for the better. We are celebrating Juneteenth as both a historical reminder, and a celebration of the promise of liberty and justice for all!
It took years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 for enslaved people to be freed nationwide. Juneteenth celebrates June 19th, 1865, the day when the Union Army issued an order proclaiming the emancipation of the enslaved people in Galveston, TX -- two and a half years after President Lincoln took action. The name Juneteenth comes from a blending of the date.
Traditionally, many Juneteenth celebrations have included parades, barbecues, festivals, and other such gatherings. In today’s world with current social distancing recommendations, several events have shifted online fully or in part and span the weekend long.
Here are a few virtual Juneteenth events to help you and yours honor the day. Don’t forget to check your local news for in person and virtual events taking place in your city as well.
Juneteenth Online Festival: From June 19 to 28, the Juneteenth Online Festival Portal will feature workshops, seminars, and entertainment in celebration of Juneteenth. The portal opens with a kickoff concert on June 19 at 12 p.m. EST.
Juneteenth Virtual Community Day: The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, located inside the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, has a virtual Juneteenth exhibit on its website that you can visit whenever you'd like. There, you can watch videos about the history of Juneteenth, a musical performance by Abubakar & Babafemi: Generations of Drummers, and an African dance performance by Friendz World Music.
Food for the Body, Food for the Soul: Join the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire on June 18, 19, and 20 for a series of live-streamed events, including a cooking show and virtual concerts and performances. You can register and find the full schedule here.
Juneteenth: Then and Now: On June 19 at 7 p.m. EST, join the Brooklyn-based BRIC TV for a virtual town hall that will look at the "state of freedom in Black communities as they grapple with COVID-19, benign neglect, and state-sanctioned violence."
Freedom on Juneteenth: On Friday, June 19 at 7 p.m. EST, the Karamu House will host an original theatrical production and artistic response to the recent murders of Black Americans through music, dance, and spoken word. You can learn more and find out how to watch the event here.