How to celebrate Juneteenth in New York City this year

Did You Know? Juneteenth

Juneteenth is right around the corner.

Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Libertation Day, it has been celebrated by Black Americans since the late 1800s.

It is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the country.

But last year, the holiday received new attention as activists called for (and still call) purposeful changes in policy following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers.

And for the very first time last year, New York City had its first-ever Juneteenth March on City Hall, and Juneteenth became an official New York City and New York State holiday.

President Joe Biden signed it into law on June 17, making it a federal holiday.

And while some parts of the Big Apple are still under Covid-19 restrictions, the community commemorates the day in marches, thoughtful walks, and virtual events.

With that, below are a few ways to celebrate Juneteenth in the city this year.

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Discover Victor Hugo Green and The Green Books virtually

The Green Book, a travel guide book for Black Americans, was published by New York postal worker Victor Hugo Green from 1936 to 1966 during the Jim Crow era.

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture has the complete digital collection of the Green Books and guides similar to it. They are all available for free online here!

Interactive story map of the African American landmarks and historic districts in NYC

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) crafted an interactive story map called Preserving Significant Places of Black History to celebrate New York City's African American history through designated areas.

For five decades, the LPC has been sharing support and commending places of African American cultural and historical significance through designation.

This story map highlights the landmarks and districts that highlight African Americans' perspectives, experiences, and achievements through images, narrative text, interactive maps, and multimedia forms of content.

The Juneteenth 5K run at Brooklyn Bridge Pier Park at Pier 6

The race, which is from PACE Runs Race Series, takes place on June 18 from 8.30am ET to 11.00am ET.

It is also offered both in-person and virtually. A timing app is available for those who will attend virtually to make the experience more interactive.

PACE Runs timing app is available via Apple's App store or Google Play for those with Androids.

Tickets are $50.

The NYC Parks Department honours Juneteenth

From June 10 to June 18, the parks department will celebrate Juneteenth in several park locations, including Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, Urban Farm on Randall's Island, Dyckman Farmhouse Museum in Inwood, and Latimer House in Queens.

Summer of Soul documentary at Marcus Garvey Park

The documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)will be available to view as a free outdoor screening on Friday, June 17, at the park. It is part of the 2022 season of Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage.

This is Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson's film debut and will be part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion.

It is centered around The Harlem Cultural Festival that was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park) in the summer of 1969, at the same time Woodstock was happening.


The Harlem Drummers in Marcus Garvey Park

On Saturday, June 18, if the sky doesn’t open up and rains, the Harlem Drummers will be in the Harlem Drum Circle at the park on the Madison Avenue side of the park between 123rd and 124th streets. The musicians started gathering around together in 1969 and played every Saturday afternoon if the weather permitted near Fifth Avenue and 124th Street.

Drum Circle Marcus Garvey Park

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