Juneteenth, which takes place annually on June 19 to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States, is garnering more attention this year in light of ongoing Black Lives Matter protests.
Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19 that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.
There are several Juneteenth events taking place Friday and into the weekend in the greater Cleveland/Akron area:
Friday, June 19
Freedom on Juneteenth: An Evening of Music, Spoken Word and Dance
Join Karamu House on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Fire TV or ROKU for an evening of music, spoken word, dance and conversation. “Freedom on Juneteenth, ” is an original production, produced and directed by Tony F. Sias, and is designed to celebrate, educate, heal and activate audiences. Nearly 20 performance artists come together in this 90-minute streaming event. 7-8:30 p.m., https://www.facebook.com/events/689957181792422
Juneteenth Akron Votes Virtual Party
Community leaders are invited to come together to ensure elections are fair, safe and accessible. Guest speakers include U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Summit County Council member Veronica Sims. Featuring music and drum call by D.J. Lo-Key Kwamee Williams. 7-9 p.m. 2020akronvotes.wordpress.com
Juneteenth Celebration, Summit County Historical Society
The public is invited to visit the John Brown House property in support of Juneteenth. Images of the new John Brown Ohio Historical Marker will be on display with other photographs for an outside self-guided tour. 4:30-6 p.m. 550 Copley Road, Akron, downtownakron.com/event/juneteenth-celebration
Juneteenth Celebration, Mayfield Drive-In
According to WKYC, more than 300 families have RSVP’d for The Real Black Friday organization’s free Juneteenth celebration at Mayfield Drive-In starting at 8 p.m. Two films will be shown, “Just Mercy” and “Black Panther,” followed by a fireworks display. Call 330-212-4121 or email [email protected] to register.
Juneteenth BLM Toddler March
Peaceful protest for the Cleveland community to come together to continue the fight for young black lives. Organized by community members. 11 a.m. at Euclid Creek Reservation. facebook.com/events/910286839476972
Saturday, June 20
Juneteenth Celebration and Freedom Walk
The Buckeye Summer Soul Series, in partnership with the NAACP Cleveland Branch and Neighbor UP, will host a Juneteenth Celebration and NAACP Freedom Walk. Activities include a drum circle, giveaways, music, resources and vendor village. All participants must wear masks and practice physical distancing. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Walks begins at 11 a.m. at Benedictine High School, 2900 MLK Jr. Blvd., and will end at Art & Soul Park, 11802 Buckeye Road. instagram.com/p/CBZYGHhBsqY