Celebrating Juneteenth with community discussions, music, storytelling and more

We are entering a new age in our country, where many are opening their eyes, affirming that #BlackLivesMatter, and educating themselves on the still very current issues of racism in America. With these conversations has come the recognition and awareness of Juneteenth. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger brought news to Galveston, Texas that the war had ended and that the enslaved were free. This news was delivered two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, and symbolizes the news finally reaching the whole country.

In honor of Juneteenth, and the continued work that is needed to end systemic racism in America, cultural organizations and community groups across Charlotte are hosting programs from block parties and food drives to panels and family days. We encourage everyone to join virtually or in-person (with social distancing, of course), and let the history, creativity, and celebration inspire you to continue learning and doing the work to put an end to racism in our country. 

June 19

The 23rd annual Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas will be held June 19-21 from 10 AM to 8 PM at House of Africa in Plaza Midwood. Attendees can expect a multi-cultural celebration filled with drum circles, local vendors, performances, as well as an open mic. The event is free, and social distancing measures will be honored.

 

Levine Museum of the New South is hosting a virtual Juneteenth celebration for families from 9 AM to 5 PM. The festivities can be accessed via the museum’s Facebook and Youtube channel, and will feature spoken word, storytelling, history, and music. Visit the website to view the schedule of performances and talks

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library invites ages 12 and older to the virtual Engage 2020: Juneteenth Lunch and Learn noon to 1:30 PM. Learn more about the past, present, and future of civic engagement. Special guest Elisha Minter will reflect on Juneteenth celebrations in Charlotte. Register with a valid email address and the meeting link will be sent a few hours before the program begins.

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture is hosting an art workshop with artist and educator Alicia L. McDaniel from 3-4 PM, This event is free and people of all ages are encouraged to participate. For more information on supplies or how to join in, visit the Gantt’s website. 

Charlotte Ballet is offering free admission to its regularly scheduled intersession classes (different classes taking place at 3 and 4 PM) and ask that participants donate money that they would have spent on attending the class to an organization that is doing work to advance racial equality in Charlotte or nationwide. More information and class schedules can be found on the Charlotte Ballet website.

From 5-8 PM, the Coalition for a New South is hosting a food truck rally at Hornets Nest Park on Beatties Ford Road. The socially distanced event will be filled with food, music, and speakers. It also serves as a space to remember victims of police brutality and an event to call participants to anti-racist action. More details and park location can be found on the Facebook event page for the gathering. 

June 20

SEAS University, Unitymarkets, and Riziki Zafira together are hosting a Juneteenth Social Distance Community Celebration, filled with community vendors, live entertainment, give-aways, and more. The family-friendly event takes place from noon to 4 PM, and then transitions into a day party for adults from 4-8 PM. The event is free, and more information can be found on the event Facebook page.