With temperatures in the 80s and a host of Juneteenth celebrations coming up on Saturday, this week is full of events every New Yorker should know about. June 19th marks the 156th anniversary of the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans, and on Juneteenth, it’s important to both celebrate freedom and commemorate the past. If you’re looking for ways to do just that, check out this list of brunch events, film screenings, and dance parties happening between June 15th and June 20th. And consider donating to organizations like Black Joy Farm, Farming While Black, and Soul Fire Farm.
In addition to selling beaded coin purses and zebra bucket hats, Sincerely Tommy has coffee and vegan pastries available at its cafe counter. The shop’s owner, Kai Avent-deLeon, founded an organization called Building Black Bedstuy that aims to provide financial relief for Black-owned businesses in the neighborhood. And every Sunday from 12-5pm, her organization hosts a marketplace at this Bed-Stuy coffee shop where Black-owned vendors sell books, art, clothing, incense, skincare, jewelry, and more. Follow the organization’s progress here.
Marcus Garvey Park
Ahead of its official release on streaming services in early July, Questlove’s award-winning documentary Summer of Soul will be shown this Saturday, June 19th at Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park. His film sheds light on the legendary Harlem Cultural Festival - a huge event in 1969 that honored Black history, culture, music, and fashion. The free outdoor event begins at 5pm, but seating is first come, first served for all ticket-holders so you should probably get there early. After the film, there will be live music performances and lots of dancing in the park.
Daughter is hosting a Latte Art Throwdown this Friday, June 18th from 5-11pm as a special fundraiser for Heart of Dinner and For The Gworls. If you want to participate in this friendly competition, DM the coffee shop on Instagram and be entered to win prizes for your latte art skills. Everyone else can still catch a panel discussion on inclusivity in the hospitality industry at 5pm, followed by food from the pop-up Decades Pizza, natural wines by Zev Rovine Selections, and beer from Threes Brewing.
This bar in Prospect Heights is hosting a huge dance party in honor of Juneteenth, featuring a lineup of DJs who will keep things going from 2-11pm. They’ll have two bars serving drinks, some sidewalk seating, and plenty of room to dance inside the bar area or in their backyard. To RSVP for free, head here.
Brown Butter Craft Bar & Kitchen
Brown Butter Kitchen in Bed-Stuy is hosting a Juneteenth Jubilee brunch party from 9am-3pm this Saturday. In addition to Brown Butter Kitchen’s brunch specialities (like biscuits with chicken and gravy, and banana bread pudding), you’ll be able to try Southern food from Chef Will Coleman. Plus, they’ll be playing live music all day and have plenty of drinks available. You can learn more about Chef Will and make a reservation here.
A little over a dozen Black-owned Harlem restaurants, bars, and wine stores are running in a Juneteenth Sip N Shop series from Friday, June 18th to Sunday, June 20th in order to encourage New Yorkers to support small businesses. Which means, with every purchased dish, you get a free Maker’s Mark cocktail (or drink ticket to redeem at a participating bar). Check out the full list of great restaurants and bars - like 67 Orange Street, Melba’s, and Chocolat - and see all the details here.
The Bell House
There’s a Drunk Black History comedy show at The Bell House featuring performers like Marie Faustin, and the Lucas Brothers. The show starts at 9:30pm on Saturday, June 19th (but doors open at 8:30pm), and you can buy your $20 tickets ahead of time here. And if you’re looking for a Black-owned restaurant to check out near the theater, both Negril (which serves great stuffed snapper and iced rum punch) and Le Succulent (a West African and French spot) are about a 15-minute walk away.
Weeksville Heritage Center
Even if you’re not in the city this weekend, or haven’t been doing a lot of in-person events, you can still participate in the Weeksville Heritage Center’s free Juneteenth programming, Meals As Collective Memory. The schedule has everything from a demo on how to pull off a Sunday dinner party from Chef Omar Tate of Honeysuckle Projects, to a session on Central Brooklyn’s community fridges during the pandemic, and a conversation with legendary food historian (and the writer of High On The Hog, the book that inspired the recent Netflix show of the same name) Dr. Jessica B. Harris about Black diasporic foodways. You can see the schedule, which runs from 12:30-4pm on Saturday, June 19th, here.
Harlem-based Chef Rāsheeda Purdie is offering a three-course dinner in honor of Juneteenth, and the experimental menu involves several Southern food, Korean, and Japanese mashup dishes. Her Roots + Ramen experience is available for pick-up in Harlem this Saturday, June 19, and each order comes with a side of strawberry sage soda. For more details and to RSVP for a meal, head to her website here.