The holiday Juneteenth commemorates and celebrates the day enslaved people in Texas finally got the news that they'd been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. They heard this news on June 19, 1865, more than two years after Abraham Lincoln signed the proclamation outlawing slavery.
Seattle-area events invite families to learn about and celebrate Juneteenth, a day meant to signify freedom from slavery and to lift up the African-American community and its cultural traditions.
In-person and virtual Juneteenth events:
Saturday, June 12: Stop by the Northwest African American Museum to pick up a free Juneteenth art kit.
Sunday, June 13: Tune in for NAAM's monthly virtual story time; this edition features Seattle Sounders legend Steve Zakuani.
Monday, June 14: Really learn about Juneteenth, its history and future, from "On Juneteenth" author Annette Gordon-Reed talking with Seattle journalist Marcus Harrison Green. This virtual event is $5 for adults and free for youth ages 22 and younger; preregister.
Tuesday, June 15: Tune in at 10:30 a.m. for Juneteenth Family Story Time with King Couny Library; preregister for Zoom link.
Wednesday, June 16: Tune in for a free program called ELEVATE, a community collection of spoken word performances by Black and Brown voices of all ages.
Thursday, June 17: NAAM invites Black families with 2021 graduates — from preK to college — to join a Black graduation drive-in celebration at Lumen Field's north lot. Preregister for this free event.
Friday, June 18: Turn up at Issaquah's Grub and Groove Juneteenth event to grab dinner from C. Davis Texas BBQ and enjoy a free community concert by jazz guitarist Michael Powers.
Friday, June 18–Monday, June 21: Book a visit to MOHAI, hosting a traveling exhibit in honor of Juneteenth. Through artifacts and storytelling, gain a new, Afrocentric view of American history through the exhibit called "The Unspoken Truths." Book tickets online.
Saturday, June 19: Tune in for a program with local contributing artists exploring the history and legacy of the African-American journey from slavery to freedom and beyond.
Saturday, June 19: Join the Juneteenth Freedom March, starting at 23rd and Madison at 1 p.m., and marching to Jimi Hendrix Park where a community celebration will take place.
Saturday, June 19: Northwest African American Museum and Seattle Parks' Rec'N the Streets program welcome families for Juneteenth Jamboree featuring performances, food, horse rides, book giveaway and vaccines. RSVP requested.
Saturday, June 19: It Takes a Village Juneteenth Festival celebrates the Black community, seeks to share resources and services, and aims to promote the health and power of those with the least access to it.
Saturday, June 19: Enjoy a fee-free day in one of Washington's amazing state parks, thinking about how freedom is fundamental to our human existence.
Saturday, June 19: Tune in for a free celebratory performance honoring Juneteenth by the captivating dance troupe Step Afrika!