ATLANTA — Juneteenth -- June 19 -- marks the date in 1865, that slaves in Texas learned of slavery's end, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
This year's celebration takes an extraordinarily poignant tone in the wake of the national mass uprisings against systemic racism and police brutality, punctuated by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks.
Protests against racial injustice amid cries of Black Lives Matter have continued to occur across the nation and in Metro Atlanta, the cradle of the civil rights movement, activities, celebrations and protests with ties to Juneteenth are more prevalent this year than in years past.
A concerted move to make Juneteenth a national holiday in the halls of Congress and in other areas around the country have taken on new life and new meaning in the wake of the current social justice environment.
Here is a list of things going around Atlanta to recognize the holiday.
This list is not comprehensive, and if you know of any more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- March on Atlanta, June 19, begins 9 a.m. at Centennial Olympic Park: This is being organized by the OneRace movement, and will take on a spiritual tone, with organizers saying: "Join us in decrying racism in every form, and declaring unity from the church across lines of race, class, denomination, and culture." They note it is a non-violent gathering and ask those wishing to attend to follow CDC guidelines.
- Juneteenth Jubilee for Youth: The event, taking place in Conyers, will showcase teenage minority entrepreneurs during a festive celebration of culture and heritage. This free event will also include a special performance by Historical Storyteller Auntie Renee. The event takes place Friday, June 19, 2020 from 11:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. at Team 3 After School Program & Camps Campus Grounds located at 1290 Green St SE Conyers, GA 30012.
- Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Healing and Racial Unity: The Interfaith Clergy Partnership of Greater Athens is hosting an Interfaith Prayer Vigil event on Friday June 19th at 5 PM at the steps of the Old City Hall (301 College Ave., Athens GA).
- Axis Replay Juneteenth Celebration: This will be a virtual streaming event that "brings in personalities like Erin Simon, Sports host, Larry Ridley, Atlanta native and rapper, Jeezy, and more." Axis Replay is an Atlanta gaming venue, and this celebration has a wide range of events.
- Unexpected Atlanta Juneteenth Virtual BBQ, June 19 and 20, begins at 7:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.: Unexpected Atlanta describes this virtual learning experience like this: "Learn about the history of Juneteenth, Emancipation Day, and stories of what Atlanta and other important African American communities were like post-Emancipation in our LIVE Juneteenth Virtual Tour. This is an approachable and engaging way to learn about some of America's most forgotten history, including why barbecue is and always has been a celebration food. Tours are appropriate for children age 10+."
- Juneteenth Virtual Celebration with Sandy Spring Slave Museum, June 18, begins at 7 p.m.: The museum says you can participate "from the comfort of your home as we celebrate the history and importance of the Juneteenth holiday. Enjoy performances and learn from our expert team of historians and educators. Special guests Shane Lee (University of Alabama Football ) and Walt "The Wizard" Williams (Retired NBA Basketball Player) will be joining us."
- Juneteenth Music Festival, June 18 and 19, begins at 8 a.m.: This is not specific to Atlanta, as it is virtual, but organizes describe it as "an online destination for Juneteenth celebrations to unite in offering a platform for art, history, education, commerce, and a shared vision to make Juneteenth a national holiday. Our virtual festival will be taking place on Thursday, June 18, 2020. On Friday, June 19th we invite our virtual attendees to commemorate Juneteenth with us in our #IamJuneteenth celebration campaign."
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