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Feature

June 18, 2020
Ways To Celebrate Juneteenth Across The Country
Honor this holiday commemorating the end of slavery by showing up for the Black community and supporting local businesses.

Juneteenth commemorates the date - June 19, 1865 - when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Texas to announce that the Civil War had ended, and that slavery had been abolished. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed two and half years before, it wasn’t until Juneteenth that all enslaved African Americans in the United States were considered free. The holiday has long been celebrated in the Black community, initially involving church gatherings and large, elaborate meals, and in recent years, many activists have campaigned for it to be recognized as a national holiday.

This year, Juneteenth is happening in the midst of one of the largest civil rights movements we’ve ever seen, and restaurants and community organizations are celebrating in a bunch of different ways. Here are some ways you can get involved across the country. We’ll be adding more cities and events as we go.

NYC

  • The New York Public Library and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture are offering a virtual event at 2pm focused around the examination of Juneteenth. You can register here.

  • From 2-5pm, an activist-led Black Lives Matter protest will march around City Hall. For more details on the protest’s agenda, check out the rally’s registration page.

  • Justice For George rallies are taking place across the city all day long, including this one centered around a youth picnic in Clove Lake Park.

  • This Justice For George rally begins in Soundview Park in the Bronx at 3pm

  • In Cambria Heights, a “prayerful” Justice For George rally against racism and police brutality will take place at 115th Avenue and 221st Street at 3pm.

  • The Black Veterans Project and Bushwick Youth Collective are hosting a rally in Irving Square Park. Along with a march, there will be performances, ways to to support Black-Owned restaurants, and resources for engagement.

  • Activist Valerie Walker is leading the Break The Chains With Love March from Jane’s Carousel on the waterfront. After crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, it’ll stop at the African Burial Ground before continuing to City Hall for a rally and celebration.

  • In Prospect Lefferts Gardens, there’s a 30 minute meditation starting at 7pm to remember Black lives that have been taken since the 1600’s. You’ll be provided things like candles and sanitizer, so while it’s free, you are required to RSVP.

  • From 7-8pm, BRIC is hosting a virtual town hall on Youtube. Panelists, including the Majority Leader for the New York City Council, will be discussing freedom in Black communities, and answering viewers questions. Register here, and if you’d like, you can submit questions here.

BOSTON

  • Neighborhood Kitchen in Medford has been running dinner specials all week long, with things like grilled BBQ chicken and strawberry crinkle cookies. Call (781) 391-9000 to place an order.

  • Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen is hosting a 10-hour live music marathon from 12-10pm. They’ll be live-streaming the event right from the South End with $25 virtual VIP tickets that include a cocktail kit. You can find more information here.

  • At 7pm, natural wine store The Urban Grape is having a panel discussion with three Black female winemakers about working in a predominantly white male industry. For more about the event, including how to RSVP, click here.

  • The Museum of Fine Arts is streaming poetry readings, artist talks, and music performances from 4-7pm on both Facebook and YouTube.

  • The Royall House and Slave Quarters Museum, previously home to the largest slave-owning family in the state, will be having a night of poetry and conversation from 7-8:30pm. Register for the online event here.

SAN FRANCISCO

LOS ANGELES

Sandy Noto

CHICAGO

  • The Black People Eats team has brought Chicago’s Black-owned restaurants together to offer $6.19 specials in celebration. We’ve listed the participating restaurants here, and you should head to this site for more information, an interactive map, and restaurants outside of Chicago that are celebrating.

SEATTLE

  • Moe Vegan, a plant-based food truck that serves everything from gumbo to lasagna, will reopen for one day only (Friday) from 12-8pm. They’ll be parked right outside Kush21, a cannabis shop in Burien.

  • At the Rainier Beach Safeway, youth outreach groups Community Passageways and the Boys & Girls Club Of King County will be hosting a community healing space. Soul food restaurant Catfish Corner will be there serving fried catfish and hush puppies.

  • The Pastry Project is an organization that provides free baking training to individuals with educational and employment barriers. They’re participating in Bakers Against Racism by offering a virtual Pop-Tart workshop on Saturday, June 20 from 10am-12pm. Tickets are $50, and the proceeds will go directly to Seattle’s Black Lives Matter chapter.

  • If you’re attending the King County Equity Now Coalition’s 2pm march to Jimi Hendrix Park or the 1pm event with Not This Time! at Judkins Park, there are plenty of Black-owned businesses to support nearby when you get hungry. For more information on those 16 spots, head to the Central District section of our Black-Owned Restaurants guide.

  • Omabap, a Korean spot located on Capitol Hill within the CHOP (Capitol Hill Organized Protest) enclosure, is collaborating on Friday, June 19, with Mike’s Shave Ice to serve Korean street tacos and dessert from 5-8pm. All proceeds are going to the Seattle chapter of Black Lives Matter. You can learn more information on Omabap’s Instagram.

  • Find more restaurants commemorating the holiday on our full guide here.

PHILADELPHIA

  • Everybody Eats has been running food-and-essentials drives to support communities in West and North Philly where grocery stores have shut down recently. They’re celebrating Juneteenth with another drive and celebration in North Philly today. You can support it by donating your time, money, or by dropping off an extra roll of paper towels to any of these participating restaurants.

  • To continue the celebration of Juneteenth into the weekend, tomorrow three Black chefs from Philly are cooking a pop-up, take-out dinner at Res Ipsa. For $50, get things like sticky barbecue chicken, cornbread, and red drink.

  • For the last 14 years, The Johnson House has done a Juneteenth street festival in North Philly. And while it’s not happening in the same form this year, they’re doing a Virtual Juneteenth Festival with panel discussions, presentations, music, and more.

  • Tons of Philly restaurants have joined forces with Bakers Against Racism to do a virtual bake sale with proceeds going to both local and national organizations that combat systemic racism and provide resources to POCs. Some Philly spots that are participating are Fiore Fine Foods, Middle Child, and Lost Bread Co. Check this Google Doc for the full list of participants.

  • Another great way to celebrate Juneteenth is just to buy stuff from Black-owned businesses around Philly. Some of our favorites are Yowie, Freedom Apothecary, and Marsh + Mane.

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