This Friday marks the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth; there are many in-person events happening around the city to commemorate the day including marches, vigils and celebrations (weather permitting as thunderstorms are predicted), but there are also virtual opportunities for action and reflection if you’re unable to physically attend this year’s programming. We’ve outlined some options below, and will be updating this list as needed:
For starters, Black Lives Matter DC’s Strike for Black Lives is calling for disruptive actions aimed at shutting down the city including strikes, sick-outs, blockades, occupations and spontaneous marches. Additionally, if you’re a business, put up a Black Lives Matter sign, pay your employees and shut down from 9am to 7pm.
At 10am, the Black Students Matter Rally will begin at Freedom Plaza; there’s an 11am march to the Department of Education to demand equitable education, revised curricula, defunding school police and more.
At 1pm, DC Protests’ Juneteenth 19 for 19 will begin setting up in Malcolm X Park for a 3pm march to demand a reduction of police budgets by at least 19% for Covid-19 relief and community social services.
Movement for Black Lives is also organizing a series of SIX NINETEEN events nationwide to demand that we defund the police, invest in Black communities, and call for Trump’s resignation. In DC, programming includes a Freedom Day March that begins at 1pm; it leaves from The National Museum of African American History & Culture, will make its way to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial to pause, reflect and kneel in solidarity, and will eventually end at the Lincoln Memorial, where there will be speakers, performances and community togetherness. Then at 3pm, Continue To Serve veterans will gather at McPherson Square Metro to march together to Lafayette Square; while it’s a veterans event, non-veterans are welcome.
Starting at 2pm at Black Lives Matter Plaza there’s Juneteenth Festival ft. food, music, vendors, Black-owned businesses and more, and then at 4pm there’s Million Moe March w/ Yaddiya and Long Live GoGo heading out of Black Lives Matter Plaza and ending at 14th and U streets NW.
At 5pm, at least 38 faith organizations around the city will hold vigils against racism.
And at 5:30pm, head to Malcolm X Park for #PopUpPartyInThePark where Owoade Kadara and Marcus Isaiah are co-teaching a 45-minute 305 Fitness class ft. live sounds by DJ Chalant. It’s donation-based, but they’re asking for a $5 minimum contribution; all proceeds will go to All Hail The Creatives and its mission to support young entrepreneurs that represent Black excellence, Black history, and Black intersectionality.
For an at-home-friendly option, Don’t Mute DC will be live-streaming a variety of programming if you can’t physically attend in-person events today. (If you can, a roughly 3pm march will begin at the Metro PCS at the corner of 7th Street and Florida Avenue NW.) Virtual programming will include a conversation about Black police starting at 1pm, a 6:30pm town hall on mass incarceration and racial inequities, plus an after-party with DJs until 11pm.
Plus Matthew Raiford will host A Growing Culture’s day-long land and food justice-focused Juneteenth broadcast on IG (which will later be available on YouTube) ft. panels including Land and Liberation, Restoring Democracy in Food and Agriculture and more. Starts at noon.
Also from home, you can take one Petworth block’s lead by organizing your own socially distanced Juneteenth Front Yard Festival ft. a banging of pots from 7:00-7:09pm followed by a minute of silence for George Floyd from 7:09-7:10pm.
Six Black museums (National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, Northwest African American Museum, Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater and the National Civil Rights Museum) are joining forces for #BlkFreedom, a virtual Juneteenth celebration which includes educational programming, artistic performances and more. Additionally, National Museum of African American History & Culture will offer special virtual programming today, and can also take a free virtual tour of the Frederick Douglass National Historical Site at nps.gov or through artsandculture.google.com.
Or attend this week’s Busboys and Friends: A Zoom Dinner Party ft. very special guest Ibram X Kendi at 6pm ET.
Plus at 8pm ET SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK® will put on a virtual concert and panel ft. music, spoken word and discussion. You can purchase tickets to an interactive Zoom broadcast, which are $19 per device and are limited; all net proceeds will benefit the crucial work of the Equal Justice Initiative. OR, watch the event for free via Facebook or YouTube.
And SummerStage Anywhere digital series will honor the 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth with tribute performances on SummerStage’s Instagram throughout the day starting at noon ET, all leading up to a 7pm panel discussion, Reflecting the Times, on SummerStage’s YouTube; led by Hope Boykin of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, it will be followed by a tribute performance of “HANGING TREE”, featuring Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet Dance Theatre, vocalist Marcelle Davies-Lashley and poet Carl Hancock Rux.
Also, a reminder that Bandcamp is donating 100% of its share of sales today to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund!
Did we miss something? Get in touch with us at [email protected] to let us know.
Featured photo via Clay Banks