Juneteenth in Brooklyn: Activism, Education, And Other Ways To Participate

This year June 19th – Juneteenth – is marking the 155th years since the last proclamation of the end of slavery, as America is enveloped in nationwide protests over the treatment of Black people in the country today, sparked by the recent murder of George Floyd.

“I think that this year has an extreme significance to the entire energy of Juneteenth, and although it has been this almost shadow holiday nationally, it appears to have found real significance due to the large numbers of national and international protests,” Adams told us. “What Juneteenth is to Blacks is what Fourth of July is to the American culture.” 

New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the day will be a holiday for state employees this year and is pushing legislation to designate the day a state holiday.  Activists hope that New York City is to follow.

Whether you’ll be out at protests or finding ways to acknowledge the holiday at home, here’s what’s going on in Brooklyn. 

Social Justice

According to the @justiceforgeorgenyc Instagram page, there are 59 events scheduled for Friday. The account has been meticulously following the protests and rallies around the city, and will be posting more up-to-date information today and tomorrow. 

A Unite NY rally and subsequent march will be held at Cadman Plaza at 2:00 pm on Friday. The rally is supported by the Black Lives Matter Movement, and attendees are encouraged to wear both black and a mask. 

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, in collaboration with council members Farah Louis and Laurie Cumbo, the Haitian American Caucus, and Elite Learner’s Inc, will be hosting a Freedom Day Rally at Grand Army Plaza. The rally will happen from 10:00 am -12:00 pm. 

Awesome Brooklyn is hosting a free sign-making session at their store both today and Friday from 2:00 pm-4:00 pm. The store is located at 617 Flatbush Avenue, between Rutland Road and Fenimore Street. 

Black riders, walkers, and movers of any kind can join the Juneteenth Freedom Party celebration on Eastern Parkway at 3:30 pm, a march will follow.

Virtual Celebration

Get your groove on with the Juneteenth Jubilee, a Bantaba celebration held via Zoom. The event, which is open only to Black folks, begins at 7:00pm.

At noon on Friday, the Capitol One City Parks Foundation SummerStage will host tribute performances on their Instagram channel. At 7:00 pm they will also host a panel discussion, with Hope Boykin of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and a tribute performance of “HANGING TREE”. 

The Brooklyn Public Library will be hosting a virtual reading for children and adults of Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale, read by the author and illustrator’s daughter. The reading will be hosted on the Brooklyn Public Library Family Facebook Page at 11:00 am. Librarians have also curated a list of recommended readings in honor of the holiday. 

The Brownsville Heritage House will be hosting events all weekend, including local art, poetry, gospel music, dance, garden tours, and slavery exhibits. Friday’s event will be from 6:00-8:00 pm at the House, located at 581 Mother Gaston Boulevard, on the corner of Dumont Avenue. 

Supporting the Movement from Home 

Consider ordering from one of these Black-owned restaurants for your dinner Friday, or cooking one of the New York Times’ specially curated Juneteenth recipes. 

Donate to one of the many local Brooklyn causes dedicated to supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. 

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Ellie Plass

Ellie Plass

Ellie Plass is a food reporter for Bklyner. You can contact her, or send her tips at ellen@bklyner.com.

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