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.
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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.
Showing Up on the Front Line for Black Lives
Join the Planned Parenthood Action Fund for a conversation on how you can stand in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives Juneteenth Actions.
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 Black Family Reunion
Join NAACP and special guests Whoopi Goldberg, Deon Cole, Jennifer Lewis, and others live on YouTube for a day of music, performances, and celebration on Juneteenth.
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)
Channing Godfrey Peoples's debut feature centers around the fictional Miss Juneteenth pageant, an annual competition that awards the winner a scholarship to a historically black college or university of her choice. In a twist on the standard rivalries that drive the pageant genre (think Miss Congeniality and Drop Dead Gorgeous), the longtime winner in this case, Turquoise Jones, sees who she deems a more worthy winner in her daughter, Kai. "Instead of just depicting the myriad ways black women carry their communities, the movie goes further to explore how these women and black girls support each other in a world that often fails them," wrote Lovia Gyarkye for the New York Times.
Catfish Corner will host a community healing space with youth outreach groups Community Passageways and the Boys & Girls Club at the Rainier Beach Safeway, where they'll serve up fried catfish and hush puppies.
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)
The fast-casual Korean restaurant's Capitol Hill location will sling Korean street tacos, plus frozen treats from Mike's Shave Ice, from 5-8 pm on Juneteenth. All proceeds will benefit Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County.
Support Black-Owned Businesses on Juneteenth - on Us!
The ACLU of Washington is supporting black-owned businesses by opening $300 tabs at select spots across the state. On Juneteenth, mention their name at places like Cafe Avole, Boona Boona, and the Station for free orders up to $10.
2(06) The Break
In honor of Black Music Month, Central District black arts space Wa Na Wari presents a seven-episode series that puts a spin (this will become a pun in mere moments) on livestreamed DJ sessions you might've seen on the Instagram pages of artists like Questlove and DJ D-Nice recently. Each week, local hip-hop enthusiast Jazmyn Scott will pair two Pacific Northwest hip-hop DJs and task them with spinning a decade-specific set, from the 1980s to the present. This special Juneteenth edition will feature Georgio Brown's Coolout Network, highlighting 30 years of video footage of the Northwest hip-hop scene.
Juneteenth Celebration with Alicia Keys and John Legend
The soaring piano interludes in this special Juneteenth of Verzuz TV's Instagram music battle between Alicia Keys and John Legend will be unprecedented.
Juneteenth on KEXP
Tune into KEXP to hear local musicians Gabriel Teodros, Eva Walker, Larry Mizell Jr., and OCnotes celebrate Juneteenth over the airwaves.
American Slavery Project: Black Women and the Ballot
Listen to three radio dramas about the segregated history of women's suffrage, and the black women who banded together to ensure that people of all races had the right to vote.
This year has seen some fantastic work from black theater producers both on and off-Broadway. Broadway Black's Antonyo Awards will honor the best actors, directors, choreographers, and designers who made them all happen. Hear the winners—voted on by the pubic—at this virtual ceremony on YouTube.
Freedom on Juneteenth
Karamu House, America’s oldest producing African American theatre, will debut this original music, dance, and spoken-word production in response to the recent murders of black Americans.
Honoring the 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth: Creative Outlet Dance Theatre/ Hope Boykin / Ruddur Dance
Celebrate the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth with a digital day of dance celebrating black lives, starting with an excerpt from Demon Fruit Blues with ASE Dance Theatre Collective.
Polar Bears, Black Boys & Prairie Fringed Orchids
Sharing themes with Claudia Rankine's Citizen, parts of which focus on a rich white family obsessed with collecting black art, Vincent Terrell Durham's play is set in Harlem, in the renovated apartment of a liberal white couple who host a cocktail party for a Black Lives Matter activist, his gay white lover, a woman named Shemeka, and the mother of a slain 12 year-old black boy.
Juneteenth Blackout at the CHOP
Wear black in solidarity with the countless black Americans who have lost their lives to racist violence and gather in CHOP for a day of group-focused activities on Juneteenth, including a guided meditation and yoga session, a flower crown-making activity, a grief ritual with Reagan Jackson, sound healing with Naa Akua, a DJ dance party with DJ Dark_Wiley, and more. The organizers add, "What we need from our non-black allies are donations of money and supplies and the willingness to support by quietly protecting sacred space for black healing. We need allies on the outskirts who are willing to be a physical barrier of protection and to peacefully deter potential interruptions."
CHOP/CHAZ (Capitol Hill)
Juneteenth Freedom March
Join the Colored Cannabis Collective for their inaugural freedom march from Jimi Hendrix Park to Myrtle Edwards Park, starting at 4:20 pm.
Jimi Hendrix Park (Beacon Hill)
Juneteenth March & People's Assembly
Africatown Central District and other local organizations will represent at this march and people's assembly on Juneteenth.
22nd and Madison (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)
Six Nineteen: Defend Black Lives
A die-in event from Six Nineteen and the Movement for Black Lives, with protesters using their bodies as a visual representation of how white supremacy and police brutality have disproportionately taken Black lives, not only through interactions with criminal police, but also in the way the federal government has botched their response to COVID-19. The action has three demands: Defund police, invest in Black communities, make Donald Trump resign.
Cal Anderson Park (Capitol Hill)
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.
Noir Presents: Juneteenth
This virtual edition of Londyn Bradshaw and Skarlet Dior Black's recurring drag series will honor Juneteenth with a POC cast.
Black Fathers Matter: Marching to Elevate the Lived Experience of Black Fathers
Those in Tukwila can honor black fathers and demand justice for black lives in this Father's Day weekend march.
Abu-Bakr Islamic Center of WA (Tukwila)
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)
JUNE 23-JULY 3FILM
The Canlis Drive-In Theatre
The fine-dining institution already had a successful run with a drive-through back in March, so their new drive-in theater supporting the Black Farmers Collective should go on without a hitch. Drive up to their parking lot, turn off the engine, and cozy up for screenings of the historical drama Just Mercy (June 23), Jordan Peele's hit horror film Get Out (June 24), and other great movies. They'll have burgers, ice cream sandwiches, candy, and popcorn.
Canlis (Queen Anne)