Celebrating Juneteenth 2021 on June 19th




Image courtesy NYC Parks Department, Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Libertation Day, celebrates the Emancipation Proclamation of 1865. It is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end to slavery in the United States. While some of our City is still under COVID-19 restrictions, our community celebrates in thoughtful walks, marches, online, and virtually. Here are a few ways to celebrate Juneteenth 2021, now an official New York State Holiday, and on June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law, making Juneteenth a Federal Holiday!

Screening of ‘Summer of Soul’ in Marcus Garvey Park ~ June 19

‘Summer of Soul’ image released by Sundance; Sly Stone (Sly and the Family Stone) Mt Morris Park, Harlem

Celebrate Juneteenth in Harlem with a free, outdoor screening of Summer of Soul presented by Target in association with Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage, NYC Parks’ Historic Harlem Parks and JazzMobile. The special advance screening will be followed by live performance.


Raise the Flag! ~ Juneteenth June 19th

Community groups Creating Unity in the Community, Brownsville Heritage House, Inc. and Project Africa Restoration are organizing the flag raisings.


Juneteenth Celebration at Alice Austen House ~ June 19

The Alice Austen House is partnering with Worthless Studios as part of the Plywood Protection Project to program an outdoor stage designed by Tony DiBernado which will be installed on our grounds for a period of 6 weeks, May 12th – June 30th with 3 distinct performances offered free of charge to the public. All performances are on the lawn, socially distanced and masked in accordance with social distancing guidelines.


Celebrating the Bicentennial of the African Grove Theater with GVSHP ~ June 19

Image & Info via Mapping the Africann American Past (MAAP)

Village Preservation is proud to join with Project 1Voice and dozens of community partners to celebrate the 200th birthday of the African Grove Theater. The legacy lives on in theater created by and for those of African descent and in the vibrant world of Black theater. We’ll celebrate this remarkable institution through readings, recreations, and a panel on Saturday, June 19th.


Juneteenth Walk/Run/Barbeque ~ June 19

A solidarity march in the form of a 5K walk/run with NYC based run crewsand community groups. The event will cover Riverbank, Jackie Robinson, Saint. Nicholas, and Morningside Parks in Harlem. Immediately following the 5K we are hosting a concert and BBQ highlighting local eateries, food trucks / vendors that champion health and wellness.


The Harlem Drummers in Marcus Garvey Park ~ June 19

This year, Juneteenth falls on a Saturday ~ and, weather permitting, the Harlem Drummers will be found making music in the Drummers Circle from mid-afternoon through evening.


African American Landmarks & Historic Districts in NYC ~ an Interactive Story Map created by New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission 

nyc Landmarks Preservation Commission site, Before 1865

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) created an interactive story map to celebrate New York City’s African American history through its designated places. Entitled Preserving Significant Places of Black History, it celebrates New York City’s African American history through designated landmarks and historic districts. For five decades LPC has been recognizing, supporting, and celebrating places of African American cultural and historic significance through designation. This story map highlights landmarks and historic districts that illustrate the experiences and achievements of African Americans through interactive maps, narrative text, images, and multimedia content.


Kenseth Armstead: Boulevard of African monarchs

Casting magnificent shadows, Boulevard of African Monarchs by artist Kenseth Armstead

NYC DOT Art Community Commission and The Marcus Garvey Park Alliance partnered to install a timely and pertinent new art installation in Harlem. Kenseth Armstead: Boulevard of African Monarchs arrived on 116th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard on August 13, 2020.


Seneca Village Unearthed ~ Online

One nearly complete light blue transfer printed and molded gothic style whiteware teapot consisting of 49 mended body, handle, spout, and rim sherds. Cross-mends with contexts 9531.51 (1 sherd) and 9531.53 (1 sherd) as well. The transfer printed pattern is “Florentine” after the city of Florence, Italy, which was a popular stop on the Grand Tour. The pattern was very popular and fourteen different Staffordshire potteries (England) made ceramics with a Florentine pattern. Date made: 1815-1915

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) announced the launch of Seneca Village Unearthed, an online exhibit and collection of artifacts from what was once New York City’s largest community of free African-American landowners. Seneca Village was located in what is now Central Park, a scenic landmark. Through this online exhibit and collection, the general public will for the first time have access to nearly 300 artifacts and get a glimpse of what life was like for Seneca villagers in the mid-19th century.


Central Park Conservancy adds Seneca Village Signage, Honoring History

Image via centralparknyc.org

The Central Park Conservancy launched its first major interpretive signage initiative in Central Park to commemorate Seneca Village, a predominantly African American community that existed before the City of New York created Central Park. The interpretive signs build on decades of research, including the work of the Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History (IESVH) — a group of scholars and archeologists who have been studying Seneca Village — as well as the Conservancy’s deep knowledge of the history of Central Park and long involvement in the study of Seneca Village.

Join Conservancy guides on June 19 and 20 for in-person and virtual tours of the site. Advance registration is required.


Visit The Historical African Burial Ground

The Maerschalck map of the City of New York is a historic map made in 1754 that clearly shows the African Burial Ground and its surrounding neighborhood Library of Congress

African Burial Ground (managed by the National Park Service) is the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans. It protects the historic role slavery played in building New York. The Visitors Center is located at 290 Broadway; The outside memorial is located at the intersection of African Burial Ground Way (formerly Elk Street) and Duane Street.


Visit New Amsterdam Musical Association (NAMA), the Oldest Union for Black Musicians in the United States, in Harlem

Founded in 1904, NAMA is the oldest African-American Musical organization in the United States. It was founded at the time that the American Federation of Musicians Local 310 didn’t admit minority musicians. Follow on Facebook.


Take a Historic Harlem Walking Tour

Mural ‘Spirit of Harlem’ by artist Louis Del Sarte, Commissioned for the people of Harlem by North Fork Bank, 2005 and restored and dedicated to the Harlem community in 2018. Located on the corner of 125th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd. in Harlem. Photo credit: AFineLyne

Harlem-based tour company Welcome To Harlem originated in 2004 with tour guides who are born and raised in the neighborhood. Tours range from walking tours through historic neighborhoods to jamming jazz and gospel.


Explore Victor Hugo Green & The Green Books Online

The Negro Motorist Green Book: 1948 courtesy The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

The Green Book, a guidebook for black Americans, was published by New York postal worker Victor Hugo Green from 1936 to 1966, during the Jim Crow era in America as a way for working-class African-Americans to pursue the American Dream of travel before and during the Civil Rights Movement. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture houses the full digital collection of Green Books and other similar guides. They are available free online.


Spend some Time in Juneteenth Grove at Cadman Plaza

Image courtesy NYC Parks Department

In celebration of Juneteenth (2020) and to celebrate the homegoing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others, Parks created a grove in Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn, in dedication: named “Juneteenth Grove.” Adding to an existing tree presentation at this location, the agency planted 19 new flowering trees—as they fortify life—that flank the park’s main entry path on Tillary St. (between Cadman Plaza E. and W.) and has displayed newly designed banners marking the area. The Juneteenth Grove features a temporary painting of 19 existing benches in the colors of the globally recognized Pan-African Flag (Red, Black, and Green). As the steward of nearly three million trees, Parks recognizes the Black community’s complicated relationship with trees—they represent thousands lynched and their roots symbolize the depth and connectivity the Black community has to this Nation.

We will continue to add events as we receive them.