This coming Saturday is Juneteenth, the annual commemoration and celebration of the end of slavery in the United States.
On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas to break the news the Civil War had ended and that all those who were enslaved were now free, according to Juneteenth.com. The Emancipation Proclamation had been signed two years prior by President Lincoln in 1863, however, there weren’t enough Union soldiers to enforce the order in Texas so it had little impact there. Juneteenth marks the triumphant day when slavery actually ended in all states.
This year, on its 156th anniversary, Miami is celebrating Juneteenth with a number of different festivals and events. Here are 10 ways in which to celebrate and honor Juneteenth in the Magic City this year.
The Juneteenth Miami Freedom Fry & Musical Festival is returning to Miami Gardens on Saturday, June 19, for its third annual edition. Celebrate the American values of freedom, progress and unity signified by this historic day of emancipation, and enjoy a wide variety of Black-American cuisine all the way from Tennessee Barbecue to Georgia Soul food and Carolina Gullah Geechie along with Freedom Punch. This year, the family-friendly festival will also feature live music, visual arts and poetry, as well as arts and crafts classes for children.
Where: Miami Gardens. The exact location is yet to be announced.
When: Saturday, June 19, from 12 to 11 p.m.
The Pérez Art Museum is kicking Juneteenth weekend off on Friday, June 18, with a wonderful evening outdoors featuring live music, art, and community. DJ LaNegra Fabulosa and DJ Kumi will start the evening off with live sets by the waterfront followed by a screening of AFROPUNK BLACK SPRING, featuring Miami’s ArtLoveTrap, Willie Clarke, DJ Kumi, Masisi, Jenny Perez, and Seafoam Walls.
Where: Pérez Art Museum, 1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132.
When: Friday, June 17, from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Head on over to the North Beach Bandshell this coming Saturday to join Juneteenth The Experience. The event will celebrate freedom, community, Black arts and culture, and Black Miami with a multidisciplinary, immersive performance depicting the past, present and future of Juneteenth. The performance is being directed by Michelle Grant Murray and Wilkie Ferguson III and will be presented by Hued Songs and The Rythm Foundation. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for this free performance in front of a limited audience, but if you can’t make it to the live show it will also be streamed online for everyone to enjoy.
Where: North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33141.
When: Saturday, June 19, at 6 p.m.
Starting off on Monday, June 14, FIU’s four-day-long Juneteenth celebrations are open to everyone and include performances from local artists, local artisan vendors, Frost Art Museum exhibits and activities, food trucks, and more! Registration is required — You can learn more about the four-day lineup here.
When: Monday, June 14, to Saturday, June 19.
On Saturday, June 19, the City of Miami Beach will hold its second annual Juneteenth Event at Pride Park where the city planted a Rainbow Eucalyptus tree to forever remember the end of slavery in America and to celebrate Black lives and contributions to the city. This year the event will feature performances by Rebecca “Butterfly” Vaughns, Jim Gaisor with Students from New World School of the Arts and the Peter London Global Dance Company.
Where: Pride Park, 1809 Meridian Avenue.
When: Saturday, June 19, from 9 to 10 a.m.
6. Juneteenth Food and Music Festival with the Hungry Black Man and Miami Beach Parks & Recreation
Miami Beach Parks & Recreation is teaming up with foodie, The Hungry Black Man, to bring you an array of Black American and vegan soul food as well as Afro-Caribbean favorites, and then dance the afternoon away to the sounds of a dynamic music set as the kids enjoy the interactive children’s play village. Admission is free and food and drinks can be purchased while on site!
When: Saturday, June 19, from 2 to 7 p.m.
Where: Nort Shore Sand Bowl, 7275 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33141.
The Betsy Hotel is celebrating Juneteenth with live music performances and poetry readings all Saturday evening long. Join them from 6 to 11 p.m. for Jazz in the lobby where Pianist Allen C. Paul will perform along with guest vocalists Leesa Richards, Brenda Alford and Nicole Yarling. After the show head on over to The Betsy Poetry Rail, in the alley next to the hotel, from 9 to 9:30 p.m., for performances by poets Rebecca Butterfly Vaughns and Geoffrey Philp, whose focus is African American history. Jazz saxophonist and peace activist Gregory LeDon will also improvise alongside them.
When: Saturday, June 19, from 6 to 9:30 p.m.
Where: The Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139.
Join the Bahas Reunion at Buccaneer Park in Miami Gardens for a day full of family-friendly events with games, light refreshments and a water play area for all to enjoy. The event starts at 11 a.m. and you can pack your own lunch or buy some food from one of the many food trucks that will be in the area all afternoon!
Where: Buccaneer Park, 3100 NW 207th Street, Miami Gardens, Fl. 33056.
When: Saturday, June 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Head on over to Opa-Locka to enjoy live entertainment, visual and performing art, interactive workshops, food and family-friendly fun in and around the Ali Baba Avenue area. Dr. Joanne Hyppolite, the Folklife Curator at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, will also lead a live historical remembrance of the Emancipation Proclamation in Miami.
When: Saturday, June 19, from 4 to 9 p.m.
Where: 675 Ali Baba Avenue in Opa-locka.
10. Celebrate Juneteenth 2021 with South Florida PBS (virtual)
South Florida PBS will also be offering several special programs in honor of Juneteenth. Starting at 10 p.m. on Friday, June 18, with “Hustle To Scale: Redefining The Black Founder Experience In Overtown” on WPBT, followed by Saturday’s programming starting at noon with “Henry Louis Gates, Jr. — Uncovering America” on WPBT, “Driving While Black: Race, Space & Mobility in America” at 2 p.m. on WPBT, and ending on Monday, June 21, with “Invisible History: Middle Florida’s Hidden Roots” at 10 p.m. on WPBT.
When: Friday, June 19, to Monday, June 21.
Where: South Florida PBS
[Featured image: Shutterstock]