"Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control. As a result, in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, enslaved people would not be free until much later. Freedom finally came on June 19, 1865, when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state, were free by executive decree. This day came to be known as "Juneteenth," by the newly freed people in Texas." -National Museum of African American History and Culture
Celebrate this special holiday commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Downtown Atlanta will play host to a variety of family-friendly events, both in-person and virtual.
From Power to Power: A New Day of Freedom (Virtual) - June 18
Many of you already understand that Juneteenth commemorates the true end of slavery, when the last enslaved people of Texas learned of their freedom. From Power to Power is a multiple disciplinary theater experience celebrating freedom as a vital component to the African American experience. This unique and uplifting performance will highlight a few of the many ways we give and share freedom in the black community, while reinforcing the history of a sacred event. The program will feature the writing and direction of Nikki Toombs along with performers from her A La Carte Theatre company. Register here.
Summer Movie Experience Kickoff: Juneteenth Celebration - June 18
Celebrate the magic of black culture, including art, live entertainment, music, food, dance, and fun, at The Home Depot Backyard. This one of a kind, immersive celebration was designed especially with our Backyard Besties in mind. The movie on the lawn screening of Black Panther begins at 9PM. Register here.
Jubilee: A Juneteenth Experience - June 18
Join The Center for a virtual program that celebrates Juneteenth through music, history, and culture. This program explores the history of Juneteenth, the way it is revered across our nation, and the new traditions being found for this joyous occasion. Juneteenth is the celebration of the emancipation of people who were enslaved in America, and the continued celebration and liberation throughout time. Log on to enjoy music inspired by this history, hear from a speaker about Juneteenth’s continued legacy, and find a new piece of your tradition. Register here.
Juneteenth Atlanta Parade and Music Festival - June 18-20
Festival dates are June 18-20, 2021 at Centennial Olympic Park. Our Black History Parade is on June 19 and starts at noon on Auburn Ave and Jackson St and marches down Auburn Avenue to Centennial Olympic Park, where it joins the Juneteenth Atlanta festival. The festival includes a Juneteenth 5k freedom run, a royal fathers day weekend celebration, family reunions, martial arts, yoga, board games, family and children's activities, a cultural arts amphitheater, 5 Wakanda fully furnished VIP outdoor suites, two stages, two mega pavilions, international cuisines, food trucks, game trucks, miniature train rides, horse rides, carriage rides and over 300 B.O.B vendors that you can come out and shop with. Hear national speakers, come out and network, and join in with the family. Full details.
Sweet Auburn Juneteenth Celebration - June 19
The Sweet Auburn Juneteenth Celebration, organized in partnership with HDDC and WERD Studio, will provide community members with a chance to meet the artists and experience the artwork that inspired a special Color ATL x Power Haus Creative Juneteenth coloring book, as well as explore and contribute to the history of Sweet Auburn. The event will feature music curated by Ricci de Forest and food will be available for purchase from local restaurants including Atlanta Breakfast Club Chicken and Waffles, Local Green ATL, and Purpose Pops ATL!
The Second Annual Juneteenth Takeover - June 19
By community and partner demand, #JuneteenthTakeover has been brought back for a second year! We’re switching it up a bit though...old school... like we used to do back in the day. Bring your folks and a blanket and meet us in Woodruff Park for a very soulful celebration. This interactive event invites families and community members to join in coloring their own vinyl pages from the special edition Color ATL x Power Haus Creative Juneteenth coloring book to be displayed on the Broadstreet Boardwalk fence. See full details here.
For the People Juneteenth Market
Refuge Coffee Co and APEX Museum have teamed up to celebrate the history and legacy of Auburn Ave. Join us on June 19 from 11:00 am-4:00 pm on the corner of Auburn Ave and Piedmont Ave as we celebrate and support 25 Black-Owned Businesses. For The People Juneteenth Market will feature 25 black-owned vendors, a pop-up gallery by artist Charvis Harnell, and an opportunity to support the many delicious restaurants in the Sweet Auburn District. Learn more and register.
Remembrance as Resistance: Preserving Black Narratives - June 19-July 11
Flux Projects will present Charmaine Minniefield’s Remembrance as Resistance: Preserving Black Narratives, honoring the unmarked graves in Oakland’s historic African American Burial Grounds. Through this project, Minniefield celebrates the Ring Shout, a traditional African American worship and gathering practice, whose origins in West African ritual and ceremony predate slavery. Visitors to Oakland’s African American Burial Grounds can examine a replica of a Praise House, a small wooden structure used for worship. The Praise House will include a multimedia installation of the Ring Shout with video projections on the interior of the building and a sound installation emanating from the structure over the newly restored section of the Cemetery. See full details + reserve tickets here.
Featured image: The Juneteenth Takeover, curated by Power Haus Creative, in 2020. Photo by Erin Sintos.