Sunday, June 19, is Juneteenth (also called Freedom Day), a celebration of the end of slavery in the United States and an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of slavery and how we can continue to work toward true liberation for all. It was declared a federal holiday by President Joe Biden in 2021.
In Boston this weekend? Here are five events to help you celebrate freedom and learn more about day:
March to Freedom
Friday, June 17
Juneteenth Boston will lead a march through Roxbury “showcasing what Black brilliance and Black resilience looks like.” The march leaves from 120 MLK Boulevard, and ends at the Blair Lot (Washington Street and Harrison Avenue) in Nubian Square, where there will be a block party going on…
Embrace Ideas Block Party
Friday, June 17
Washington Street and Harrison Avenue, Roxbury
A night of music, dancing, community, and food courtesy of BIPOC-owned food trucks. Part of the Embrace Ideas Festival, sponsored by King Boston.
The Emancipator Presents: Juneteenth, a Celebration
Saturday, June 18
Slade’s Bar & Grill, 958 Tremont Street
The Emancipator, a collaboration between the Boston Globe and Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research, is throwing a free multimedia event focusing on emancipation, freedom, and resistance. Featuring performances by spoken word, hip-hop and R&B artists, dancers, and more. Light refreshments served; cash bar.
Juneteenth at the MFA
Monday, June 20
10:00 am-5:00 pm
Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 465 Huntington Avenue
The MFA is offering free admission for all Massachusetts residents, as well as performances curated by SIDE Presents, art making, and talks focused on the MFA’s latest exhibition, Touching Roots: Black Ancestral Legacies in the Americas.
History of Juneteenth: The First African American Holiday
Thursday, June 23
Boston Public Library (Uphams Corner branch), 500 Columbia Road, Dorchester
Join the BPL and Muqeedah Publishing for an exploration of the roots and meaning of the holiday. No registration necessary.
In LA? Discover Los Angeles has an interactive map featuring Juneteenth events across the city