Juneteenth: What's Happening in Boston?
Juneteenth is Saturday, June 19th. There are many ways to observe Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, so we’ve compiled a list of Juneteenth events happening virtually and in-person here in the Greater Boston area. As the fight for equity and justice continues, we hope this list provides some resources to commemorate this vital day in history and celebrate the contributions, writing, art, and experiences of Black Americans.
Do you know of other Juneteenth events or resources? Let us know by sharing links with us at [email protected].
Thursday, June 17th – Monday, June 21st | Event Fee: $0
A Virtual Event by The Boston Globe
Amidst our country's reckoning with racism and inequality, The Boston Globe will celebrate Juneteenth by shining a light on films and filmmakers telling stories of Black imagination, strength, and liberation. Join them on June 17th–21st for free screenings and discussions featuring the films Black Panther, Blue Hill Avenue, City On Our Back, and Harriet. Register here.
Thursday, June 17th at 6:00PM ET | Event Fee: $0
A Virtual Event by the Boston Athenæum
Join the Boston Athenæum as author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize Annette Gordon-Reed discusses her book On Juneteenth. She will be joined in conversation by Elizabeth Cobbs. Register here.
Friday, June 18th at 8:00PM ET | Event Fee: $5–$7
An In-Person Event by The Loring Greenough House / The Jamaica Plain Tuesday Club
Please join The Loring Greenough House this summer for a screening on Miss Juneteenth, a Sundance Film Festival smash-hit in 2020, written and directed by Channing Godfrey Peoples and starring Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, and Alexis Chikaez. Purchase tickets here.
Saturday, June 19th at 10:00AM ET | Event Fee: $0
An In-Person Event by the Museum of Fine Arts
Join the MFA on site for a day of activities and programs to celebrate Juneteenth and honor the contributions of Black artists, scholars, and creative voices to the City of Boston. Register here.
Saturday, June 19th at 10:30AM ET | Event Fee: $0
A Virtual Event by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Join the Schomburg Center on the final day of the festival for readings, author talks, and panel discussions. Register here.
Saturday, June 19th at 12:00PM ET | Event Fee: $0
An In-Person Event by Uprise RI
JuneteenthRI is a cultural celebration that will be held this year on Juneteenth at RW Park Temple to Music on June 19th from 12:00pm – 8:00pm. There will be various artists performing with our headliner Raiche. Juneteenth is family friendly with lots for the children to do and many vendors selling food, art, jewelry, African American items and many more. There will be COVID testing and vaccinations available too. Register here.
Saturday, June 19th at 12:00PM ET | Event Fee: $0
An In-Person Event by Black Market Nubian Square
Ife Franklin Ifé Franklin/IféArt. Indigo Project, in association with Rhythm Visions Production Company, Inc., presents the premiere of an experimental short film, The Slave Narrative of Willie Mae, on Saturday, June 19th, as part of a day-long Juneteenth Celebration held at Black Market Nubian Square. Outdoor activities will include a land acknowledgement, a calling of the names of Ancestors, brief history of Juneteenth, prayers, music, poetry, live D.J., and more. Learn more here.
Saturday, June 19th at 12:30PM ET | Event Fee: $0
A Virtual Event by the NEMPAC Opera Project
This virtual streaming presentation will celebrate the holiday of Juneteenth, when the Emancipation Proclamation was read in 1865 in Texas to the final groups of enslaved people marking the end to slavery in the United States. Through a variety of music from Black Composers across three centuries, we will celebrate Juneteenth with the themes of freedom, triumph, and joy. These works will be performed by leading Black Musicians of the Greater Boston Arts scene and filmed at the African Meeting House on Boston’s Black Heritage Trail. Click here for free virtual tickets and donations.
Saturday, June 19th at 3:30PM ET | Event Fee: $20
An In-Person Event by SN Art Studio
Celebrate with SN Art Studio as they guide you through step-by-step instructions to create a beautiful canvas painting that celebrates our Freedom. Ticket includes a 11x14 canvas, brushes, paint, and more. Register here.
Saturday, June 19th at 4:00PM ET | Event Fee: $0
An In-Person Event by the Hingham Unity Council
All are welcome to celebrate in community with friends and family at the Hingham Bathing Beach (near the gazebo). Enjoy poetry written and read by local resident David Janey, a box meal from Soleil*, a Black-owned restaurant in Boston’s Nubian Square (*advance orders only), music, and more! No registration required but food must be ordered and paid for in advance by Friday, June 11th. Learn more here.
Saturday, June 19th at 5:00PM ET | Event Fee: $0
An In-Person Event by Starlight Square
The Black Matters Juneteenth Experience is an opportunity for our community to come together, celebrate, and heal. The evening will include live musical performances from Cambridge artists, poetry readings, dancing, and giveaways! Register here.
Saturday, June 19th at 6:00PM ET | Event Fee: $0
A Virtual Event by Valley Society
Join Valley Society in celebration of Juneteenth, to hear from members of Valley Society and past Black Writers Read guests reflect on the year in Black culture, literary arts, and existence. Past guests joining in include young adult fiction author Kaija Langley and memorist and essayist Shannon Luders-Manuel. Members of Valley Society will read excerpts from work written over the past year. Learn more here.
Saturday, June 19th at 6:30PM ET | Event Fee: $0
A Virtual Event by The Amistad Center for Art & Culture
Join The Amistad Center for Art & Culture for a spectacular night of music, song, art and celebration starting at 6:30 pm EST. The party will continue with otheir favorite DJs, Ronn P and Dane, immediately following the main program. Register here.
Resources & Recordings
A day-long symposium on Juneteenth, one of the oldest observances marking the end of the enslavement of African descendants in the United States. The holiday has been celebrated in Galveston, Texas, since June 19, 1865, when news of the Emancipation Proclamation first was announced in Texas. Today, Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom with an emphasis on education and literacy. The opened with a history of Juneteenth. Three panels followed on "The State of Black Literature," "The "Stakeholders of Black Literacy" and "Independent Artists: Our Journey as Storytellers of the African Diaspora."
Black Writes Now is a celebration of Black writers, hosted by Katherine D. Morgan – assistant features editor for The Rumpus – and featuring writers Taylor Byas, K.Y. Robinson, Christiana McClain, and Dantiel W. Moniz (Milk Blood Heat). Watch the video replay here.