Juneteenth is a celebration that celebrates the end of the enslavement of African-American people in the United States.
It marks the day, June 19th, 1865, when the Emancipation Proclamation (which had been issued on January 1st, 1863) was finally read to enslaved African–Americans in Texas.
It took more than two years for word of freedom to get to enslaved people, and freedom is still a process. Some of the Juneteenth events are calls to action, and all encourage community involvement.
Here are some ways to celebrate Juneteenth in Charlotte.
Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas
Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas is a free, multi-cultural celebration that is in its 23rd year. It will take place June 19th to June 21st, 2020, at House of Africa, 1215 Thomas Avenue, in Plaza Midwood.
Friday, June 19th:
- 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Friday opening ceremony prayers by Claire Middleton
- History of Juneteenth by Makeru Bradley, followed by DJ Pounds
- 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Friday Drum Circle
Saturday, June 20th:
- 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, June 21st:
- 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
It will be a true community event, with performers, vendors, a drum circle and an open mic.
Please wear a face mask.
Brooklyn History Juneteenth Bicycle Ride
The Brooklyn History Juneteenth Ride will start at Marshall Park at 6:30 p.m. on June 19th, and will take you on a tour of Brooklyn, Charlotte’s oldest Black neighborhood. The relaxed bike ride is for all skill levels.
Juneteenth Liberation Drive-Thru Celebration
Juneteenth Liberation Drive-Thru Celebration will take place on the Beatties Ford Corridor on June 19th, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The center of the event is Beatties Ford Road and LaSalle Street. You’re welcome to decorate your car and participate, or watch from one of the businesses along the corridor. (Ask the business first.)
Juneteenth Food Truck Rally
Coalition for a New South is celebrating Juneteenth with a Food Truck Rally on Friday, June 19th, 2020, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Hornets Nest Park, 6301 Beatties Ford Road. Enjoy a peaceful evening of music, food and speakers. The event serves as a call of action against police brutality.
All participants are required to wear face masks.
Juneteenth CLT Cookout
Juneteenth CLT Cookout
Saturday, June 20th, 2020
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Southside Park, 2645 Toomey Avenue
Enjoy a free cookout, storytelling, vendors, and performances. Please wear a mask. Donations are accepted.
Juneteenth Freedom Bike Ride
The Spoke Easy, a bicycle shop at 1523 Elizabeth Avenue, is leading Juneteenth Freedom Bike Ride on Saturday, June 20th, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The casual ride will leave the shop and go through some of Charlotte’s streets, greenways and parks, including Plaza Midwood, where it will make a stop at Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas.
Juneteenth Social Distance Block Party
There will be a Juneteenth Social Distance Block Party on June 20th, 2020, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., at 2848 Queen City Drive. This free community event will feature live entertainment, raffles, giveaways and community vendors.
Social distance is recommended, and masks will be available for purchase. From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., it will be a family-friendly party, and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., it will be more adult oriented.
Juneteenth Celebration Art Lesson with Gantt Center
Family First: Juneteenth Celebration Art Lesson with Alicia McDaniel and Gantt Center
Friday, June 19th, 2020
3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Commemorate a monumental moment in Black History with this fun workshop, perfect for families!
For this special Family First workshop, we find inspiration from Sonia Lynn Sadler’s Juneteenth at Oak Bluff . Recreate a seen of a vibrant Juneteeth celebration with your own twist! This colorful, mixed media piece will require the following items:
-White Construction or Drawing Paper
-A White Crayon
-A Watercolor Set
-Cup of Water
-Glitter Crayons and/or glitter glue in various colors
No problem if you don’t have all of the items mentioned above! What you have at home will be more than enough to create a special work of art. All backgrounds, ages and experience levels are welcome.
On June 19th at 3:00PM , please use the Zoom webinar link and password below to participate in the workshop. You will be asked to volunteer to show your work at the end of the program.
Alicia L. McDaniel is the author of Great Art Lessons for the Creative Soul and founder of Art for the Creative Soul. A native of Detroit, MI, Alicia has a B.S. in Art Education from Wayne State University and an M.A. in Humanities from Central Michigan University. Alicia has over 20 years of professional teaching experience. As a professional artist, she enjoys creating art that is expressive in bright colors and bold patterns.
Juneteenth Virtual Family Day with Levine Museum of the New South
Levine Museum of the New South is taking its Juneteenth Family Day Celebration virtual this year. Tune in to their Facebook page all day on June 19th for history, storytelling, music, poetry and more.
Belmont Juneteenth Celebration
Belmont’s annual Juneteenth Celebration is going virtual this year. There will be a car parade on June 20th, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Main Street in Downtown Belmont that you can watch online, and a livestream concert by Gabriel Bello that you can also watch online at 7 p.m. Watch them both on Belmont Juneteenth Celebration’s Facebook page.
Lunch and Learn
Charlotte Museum of History welcomes Khadija McNair, Assistant Site Manager at Historic Stagville State Historic Site, to explore the enduring legacy of Juneteenth – what it is; why it matters; and celebrate the accomplishments, resistance, and persistence of the people Juneteenth remembers.
The Lunch and Learn event takes place Thursday, June 18th, at 12 p.m.
Concord-Cabarrus Juneteenth Virtual Celebration
Concord Cabarrus Juneteenth Celebration is taking place online on Friday, June 19th, 2020, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Watch on Concord Cabarrus Juneteenth Celebration’s Facebook page.