Juneteenth (Fri June 19) marks the anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States in 1865 and the date when the last enslaved people received the news of the Emancipation Proclamation. Given the recent Black Lives Matter protests in Seattle, this year’s holiday is shaping up to be even busier than usual. We’ve compiled all the virtual and in-person happenings below, from a Virtual Juneteenth Music Festival to a Juneteenth March & People’s Assembly in Central District. For more ideas, check out our Black Lives Matter and Protests & Resistance calendars, as well as our guides to supporting local black artists and standing against racism in Seattle.
All events are online unless otherwise noted.
Juneteenth Week 2020
For a whole week on Facebook, celebrate black American history and culture with Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County and FW Black Collective. The kid-friendly events include guided meditations, DJ sets, a food-related event with James Beard Award-winning Chef Edouardo Jordan, raffles, and more.
Black Radical Imagination: A Queer & Trans Juneteenth Roundtable
With Pride, Juneteenth, and the Black Lives Matter movement in mind, Alphabet Alliance of Color will host a virtual discussion with QTPOC activists and organizers as they share their “radical imagining of a future and present with freed Trans and Queer Black bodies.” Panelists are still yet to be announced, but DJ Fairygawdzad is confirmed.
Juneteenth: Ijeoma Oluo in Conversation with Ahamefule Oluo
The Oluo siblings have immeasurably improved the minds and hearts of this city. In addition to acting and writing and creating tremendously successful pop operas, Ahamefule plays trumpet in the Stranger Genius Award–winning group Industrial Revelation. Ijeoma runs the Establishment and occasionally breaks our website with insightful commentary, as she did with her piece on Rachel Dolezal. If you want to learn to be even half as cool, thoughtful, creative, and politically engaged as these two are, then you should go hear them share their life stories. RICH SMITH
This Is WAK: A Virtual Post-Colonial Karaoke Jam
Join a cathartic anti-racist virtual soiree and karaoke party featuring a playlist of cherished black songwriters and performers with the self-described “post-colonial conceptual karaoke collaborative” Weird Allan Kaprow, hosted by Central District black arts space Wa Na Wari.
Jamila Taylor Juneteenth Celebration
A former statewide advocacy counsel for the Northwest Justice Project, Jamila Taylor will host this online get-together with community advocates, musicians, and elected officials, from Senators Mona Das, Jeannie Darneille, and Claire Wilson to labor leader April Sims.
A Juneteenth Discussion on White Supremacy & Environmentalism
Learn about the intersectional fights for environmental and racial justice from a local POC panel of experts, including Desiree Wilkins Finch (Citizens for a Healthy Bay), Kristin Ang (Port of Tacoma), Ryan Mell (Pierce Conservation District), and others.
Virtual Juneteenth Music Festival
DJ Jazzy Jeff will headline this virtual edition of Denver’s annual music festival celebrating the anniversary of the emancipation of slavery in the US. Along with a slew of music performances, podcasts, comedy sets, and dance competitions, the event will also feature the sixth annual Dream Big Awards, which honors Colorado community members who have made a difference in racial equity. Want to be a featured performer? There’s still time to submit a video of your comedy set/sleeper hit single/etc. for conversation.
Juneteenth Lunch & Learn
Learn about the history and significance of Juneteenth from black leaders of the Washington State Labor Council on Facebook Live.
Bring your own blankets, tables, chairs, etc. to this socially distant, block party-style shindig hosted by the Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective for Pride and Juneteenth. Details are still TBA, but there’ll be an open mic.
People’s Park (Tacoma)
FOOD & DRINK SPECIALS
Chef Edouardo Jordan’s lauded Southern-inspired restaurant has a read-to-heat-up three-course Juneteenth dinner special ($60) with herb-roasted prime rib, red potato salad with okra and spring onion, watermelon salad, and red velvet cake, available for preorder and pickup on June 19 only. The similarly hued menu items are no coincidence—as JuneBaby wrote on Instagram, “Some believe [the color red] represents the blood of the millions of enslaved people who lost their lives during the two centuries of the active slave trade, and others recognize that red in many West African cultures stands for strength, spirituality, life, and death.”
The local food truck Moe Vegan will open up for one day only in honor of Juneteenth, bringing plant-based menu offerings to the Kush21 parking lot.
Kush21 (South Seattle)
PROTESTS & MARCHES
Juneteenth March & People’s Assembly
Africatown Central District and other local organizations will represent at this march and people’s assembly on Juneteenth.
23rd and Union (Central District)
Juneteenth March for Justice & Equality
Justice for Black Lives will gather in Phinney to march against racism and systemic injustice on Juneteenth.
Woodland Park (Phinney)
Juneteenth Port Shutdown – Rally & March
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union will shut down all West Coast Ports on the anniversary of the end of legal slavery in the US to protest racist violence.
3440 E Marginal Way S (West Seattle)
The Next Steps Rally! A Not This Time Event
Local nonprofit Not This Time—whose mission is focused on “reducing fatal police shootings, changing the laws that govern the use of force, and rebuilding trust between our communities and the police who are sworn to protect and serve us—will lead this protest and march for communities of color who have been impacted by police violence.
Judkins Park (Central District)
Festival Sundiata Presents: Black Arts Fest
Festival Sundiata presents an all-day celebration of African American culture. Details for this virtual edition are still unannounced, but past in-person events have included African dance and drumming workshops, fashion demonstrations, and a market.
PROTESTS & MARCHES
Juneteenth Celebration Of Life And Unity
After a candlelight vigil for George Floyd, this Juneteenth celebration will demand reform in our justice system. Any proceeds raised will be donated to local bailout funds.
Carkeek Park (Broadview)