The Holiday Juneteenth is a combination of the words June + nineteenth, and it commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
Although President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was declared on Jan. 1, 1863, it wasn’t until two years later on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, when the Union army shared that enslaved people were indeed free.
This year with issues regarding race more prominent than ever — many parents are educating not only their children but themselves, especially on a significant day such as Juneteenth.
For New York, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order recognizing Juneteenth as a paid holiday for State Employees. Cuomo also stated that he will propose (to legislation) Juneneeth to be a state holiday starting next year.
To celebrate, educate, and understand Juneteeth, here are five virtual events for NYC kids and families.
Virtual Juneteenth Storytime with the Brooklyn Library Bweela Steptoe - June 19th, 11 am
Log into the Brooklyn Library to watch special guest reader Bweela Steptoereader in a virtual storytime in honor of Juneteenth. Ms. Steptoe will be reading the Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King’s Award Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, written by her father, John Steptoe!
Storytime of Juneteenth With The Conscious Kid and Author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson - June 18th and Available on IGTV Afterward
In celebration of Juneteenth, The Conscious Kid will be hosting a virtual storytime with Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, the author of Juneteenth. A perfect book for ages 7 and up — the storytime will be read Thursday (June 18th) at 7 pm EST. It will also be available and found on The Conscious Kid IGTV afterward if you miss the live reading.
SummerStage Anywhere 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth Celebration - June 19th
Enjoy a virtual day of dance to celebrate Juneteenth. Starting at 12 pm on June 19, Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage’s SummerStage Anywhere digital series will honor the 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth with a day of tribute performances, including an excerpt from RudduR Dance’s ballet, “WITNESS.” The event will be streamed on SummerStage Anywhere’s Instagram page. The event will culminate at 7 pm with a panel discussion on SummerStage’s YouTube channel led by Hope Boykin of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, followed by a tribute performance of “HANGING TREE,” featuring Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet Dance Theatre, vocalist Marcelle Davies-Lashley, and poet Carl Hancock Rux.
11th Annual Juneteenth 2020 “Curated Virtual Festival” Experience - June 20th
On June 20, Umoja Events is hosting a virtual day of family fun to celebrate Juneteenth. The day will include a talent show, a parade, multiple exhibitors and so much more. The event will take place from 10 am to 6 pm and is free to attend, however registering on Eventbrite is strongly encouraged. Click here to register or visit juneteenthny.com for more info.
2020 Virtual Philadelphia Juneteenth Festival - June 19thMembers of the African drumming and dance group Akwaaba Ensemble, along with the Rev. Robert Thompson will honor the ancestors who survived the Middle Passage with traditional songs and dance. This will stream live from the Portsmouth African Burying Ground and starts at 1 pm EST.