Juneteenth 2021: EBONY’s Guide to Juneteenth Celebrations Happening in Black America

TULSA, OK - JUNE 19: A man displays a shirt celebrating the freedom of enslaved Black people during the Juneteenth celebration in the Greenwood District on June 19, 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when a Union general read orders in Galveston, Texas stating all enslaved people in Texas were free according to federal law. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

People across the country will celebrate Juneteenth with rallies, history remembrances, and online and live events. It has upped in popularity in connection to the civil uprisings happening thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement. But while most mainstream places are championing the history day in 1865, this country has yet to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday locally and nationwide.

Whether known on your block as Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day or you rock with the O.G. Juneteenth—Black Americans are using this moment to fuel the fire for equality and honor the ancestors who came before us. EBONY will also have an opportunity for you and yours to join in for Juneteenth Unityfest, a livestream event conceived by Grammy-nominated artist Robert Randolph. It takes place on June 19, starting at 5:00 p.m. EST / 2:00 p.m. PST. Expect musical performances by Earth, Wind & Fire, Bebe Winans, Aloe Blacc, Black Pumas, Robert Randolph, and Nile Rodgers & CHIC, among many others. Actress and author Amanda Seales and comedian JB Smoove will serve as hosts of the program, and celebs such as Phylicia Rashad, Billy Porter, Van Jones, Wayne Brady, Aisha Tyler, will appear live from across the country, streaming from various hubs of Black culture and creativity, including New York, New Orleans, Nashville and Los Angeles.

As people of all backgrounds come together in a day of unity, more institutions are explaining to the larger community the significance of Juneteenth and commemorate the emancipation from slavery.

There is no one reason why there has been such a delay in addressing America’s lack of reluctancy. But as conversations about critical race theory and The 1619 Project create a fervor against recognizing this country’s most dehumanizing acts, the future of our Black community is (and has never been) reliant on the white gaze.

In honor of June 19, 1865, this is your guide to Juneteenth events happening across the country. Follow @EBONYMag on Twitter to share what’s going on in your neighborhood.

Texas

Juneteenth Unity Weekend

Where: William Blair Park (3000 Rochester Street, Dallas)
When: June 17-20

What: Organized by Dallas Southern Pride, this year’s Juneteenth Unity Weekend is “vital, now more than ever,” and will be a 4-day inclusive jamboree for the collective Black community. The event will include vendors, health screenings, and other resources such as financial and tax literacy opportunities. Rick Ross will host the megaparty, as the performance lineup includes fellow artists like Lil’ Kim, Young M.A, and hometown hero—DJ Lo Do Loretta Brown (Erykah Badu).

National Juneteenth Virtual Music Festival

Where: The Warehouse (1125 E. Berry Street, Ft. Worth)
When: June 18-20

What: Not feeling with the outside shenanigans, yet, but want to honor the legacy of Black resiliency in this country? The National Juneteenth Virtual Music Festival will offer both virtual and in-person attendance. An evocative two-days full of sounds from Creole (Zydeco), blues and jazz, keep your eyes open for when the DFW Metroplex Jazz-sponsored occasion has seating and live streaming tickets available.

Los Angeles

Leimert Park Rising: Juneteenth

Where: The Village at Leimert Park (4343 Leimert Blvd)
When: June 19

What: A collaborative effort between L.A. hip-hop’s most activated voices and the Leimert Park small business community, Leimert Park Rising: Juneteenth is #PoweredByThePeople. Driven by the goal to create a model for cooperative economics in the area, Grammy Award-winning multi-instrumentalist and producer Terrace Martin will headline a day full of live music, dynamic art, and idea sharing meant to deepen the bonds that connect the Southern California Black populace.

Juneteenth Celebration Trail Run/Hike

Where: Griffith Park Old Los Angeles Zoo (4801 Griffith Park Drive)
When: June 19

What: Connect with other outdoorsy types for a guided trail run-and-hike at the Griffith Park Old Zoo. Hidden gems within the park shall give way to the Hollywood Peak with a chance to celebrate the boldness of Blackness by the Hollywood sign. A double dutch competition will also take place, so bring your picnic blankets and wide-brim hats for this ticketed event kicking off at 800 am PDT.

Chicago

Juneteenth West Fest

Where: Columbus Park (500 S. Central Ave.)
When: June 18-20

What: A three-day event, “Freedom Day” West Fest welcomes people of all ages and identities to bask in the strength and righteousness of being Black, bold, and beautiful. Dedicated to the next generation, there will be a Youth Rally on the first day, while the second dates focus on families, women’s health, and a special tribute to fathers for Father’s Day.

The 9th Annual Juneteenth Celebration

Where: Museum of Science and Industry (5700 S. Lake Shore Drive)
When: June 18-19

What: A two-day examination of Black freedom in Chicago commits revelers to a caravan parade ride through the West Side and South Side of the area that follows a “historically significant route” that outlines the Great Migration trail. Ending at the Pullman Porter Museum, the second day is a literal cultural explosion as it offers a brief history of Juneteenth and then affirms recommitment to ensure the tradition goes on.

Atlanta

Juneteenth Atlanta 2021

Where: Centennial Olympic Park (265 Park Ave. W NW, Atlanta, GA)
When: June 18-20

What: A Black History celebration for Atlanta, Georgia, and the World—this Juneteenth Atlanta event faithfully educates event goers on the history behind the struggle for human rights. The parade, which will start next to Ebenezer Baptist Church, is set to be a moment for all ages. Don’t forget your camera.

Gala in the Garden for Neighbor in Need

Where: 2nd & Hosea Community Garden (50 2nd Ave. SE)
When: June 19-20

What: Celebrate in regal fashion underneath the stars as Neighbor in Need provides libation and fresh food prepared by Lake and Oak BBQ, Salaryman, and others to enjoy. A real garden, the community garden has been supported for Neighbor in Need for 20 years, helping seniors and providing fresh food for those with little to no access. Tickets are all-inclusive, while music is by Faith Harris, John Boy, and more.

See Also

New York

The 12th Annual Juneteenth NYC Family Festival

Where: Herbert Von King Park (670 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn)
When: June 18-20

What: Thousands of New Yorkers have been active since the streets reopened, and what better way to revel in Blackness than this three-day celebration of music, dance, wellness, education, and more. The event, which is offered live and virtually, will enable people to commune with others doing yoga, listen to music by as-yet-to-be announced talent, and food by local haunts like Peaches and Brooklyn Blend.

Juneteenth March NYC

Where: Highbridge Park (W. 190th Street, New York)
When: June 19

What: Any time is a great time for Black people to come together and unite as one. The 2021 Juneteenth March in New York City is meant to not only join in solidarity, but to promote health and wellness awareness in the community. A 5K walk and/or run with Black-led running crews and community groups shall carve a path to enlightenment, camaraderie, and fun, while running through Riverbank, St. Nicholas, and Morningside Parks.

Philadelphia

Juneteenth Celebration at Hatfield House

Where: Hatfield House in East Fairmount Park (N. 33rd Street)
When: June 19

What: Located on the border between Philly’s Brewerytown and Strawberry Mansion neighborhoods, the historic Hatfield House will play centerstage for this year’s Juneteenth celebration. A free and kid-friendly occasion, there will be plenty of activities—from face-painting to competitive games—for people to get into.

Illuminated Fountain Performances: Freedom at Longwood Gardens

Where: Longwood Gardens (1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square)
When: June 18-19

What: A tribute to the end of slavery in the United States, Freedom at Longwood Gardens “honors and recognizes the themes of hope and strength,” while using lights for a host of specially themed nighttime shows. Featuring music from revolutionary greats like Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, and The Staple Singers, you don’t want to not have this on your calendar to enjoy and participate in.

Kevin L. Clark is an editor and screenwriter who covers the intersection of music, pop culture and social justice. Follow him @KevitoClark.

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