by Amanda Ong
Juneteenth has been celebrated for over a century and a half by African Americans as the day in 1865 when news reached across the country that slavery was abolished. Though the holiday has only been recognized by the state and federal government since 2021, Seattle communities have already been celebrating for years.
The Emerald has rounded up Juneteenth events from across the South End, listed here in chronological order.
Keep an eye on this guide for possible updates!
Wednesday, June 15, Events
Wednesday, June 15, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Central Park, 7054 32nd Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118
Join NAAM, RAVE Foundation, and Sounders FC for a Youth Night in celebration of two new, turf mini soccer fields coming to NewHolly’s Central Park! Enjoy Books & Balls activation, food vendors, soccer activities, and more.
Thursday, June 16, Events
Thursday, June 16, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 104 17th Avenue South, Seattle, WA
Join Crosscut and the Langston Hughes performing arts center for an event for Crosscut’s Black Arts Legacies project! The Black Arts Legacies Celebration will feature several artists to celebrate the Black Arts community. The Emerald is a proud media sponsor for this event.
Friday, June 17, Events
Friday, June 17 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wa Na Nari Gallery, 911 24th Avenue, Seattle WA
This free, drop-in, first-come, first-served event is sponsored by Black Lunch Table and Wa Na Wari. With photography by Brea Wilson, you can expect to leave this event with some high-quality photos. From a fifth-generation, Black-owned home, Wa Na Wari is an immersive community art project that reclaims Black cultural space and makes a statement about the importance of Black land ownership in gentrified communities.
Saturday, June 18, Events
Saturday, June 18, 12 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Lumen Field, 800 Occidental Avenue South, Seattle, WA
NAAM’s African American Cultural Ensemble will sing the Black National Anthem and National Anthem at the Juneteenth Sounders Game at 12:30 p.m. and the OL Reign Game at 7 p.m.! Check them out at Lumen Field.
Saturday, June 18, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Pier 62, 1951 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA
We Out Here is an annual Juneteenth festival which is also hosting the Black Arts Legacies Celebration on June 16. This family-friendly event will feature a pop-up art gallery with the work of local artists, a DJ, live performances, food trucks, and local vendors, as well as a COVID-19 vaccination station.
Sunday, June 19, Events
Juneteenth with Atlantic Street Center & Rainier Beach Community Center Sponsored by Pacific Hospital PDA
Sunday, June 19, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Rainier Beach Community Center, 8825 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA
Join Atlantic Street Center and the Rainier Beach Community Center to commemorate a health-conscience Juneteenth! Enjoy free food, cultural performances, community resources, and activities for kids as you learn about direct services and health advocacy.
Sunday, June 19, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Judkins Park, 2150 South Norman Street, Seattle, WA
NAAM will host a Skate Party with complimentary skate rental, a community day featuring local Black-owned vendors and food trucks, family-friendly activities, music, and so much more. Join us for the ultimate Juneteenth immersive experience!
Sunday, June 19, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle, WA
Watch out for this historic musical event and Knowledge is Power Book Giveaway. Enjoy Negro spirituals, Gospel, jazz, R&B, even hip-hop. Connect to the African American struggle for freedom and justice through music.
Sunday, June 19, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Renton Pavilion Events Center, 233 Burnett Avenue South, Renton, WA
This is the Inaugural year that the state of Washington recognizes Juneteenth as a legal state paid holiday. This government recognition is cause for a bigger celebration. Black-Owned Business Excellence (BOBE) in partnership with The Professional Women of Color Network wants you to dress as royalty and come out with your best to celebrate Black excellence!
Monday, June 20, Events
Monday, Jun 20, at 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
This practical Juneteenth event recognizes the historic struggles of Black Americans and home ownership. The event will answer questions about qualifying, the history of Seattle’s housing market & the Black community, how to buy a multifamily home, how you can afford to own in Seattle, current housing market stats, househacking, and renting vs. buying. Light refreshments will be provided, with catering by Black-owned Creamy Cone Cafe.
Afrikan Marketplace at Wa Na Wari
Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
911 24th Avenue, Seattle, WA
Join Wa Na Wari for an Afrikan Marketplace. Find jewelry, clothes, unconventional artist materials, home decor, and more from artisanal makers in African traditional styles.
Friday, June 17, Saturday, June 18, & Sunday, June 19, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The LAB at 1010, 1010 South Bailey Street, Seattle, WA
Join It Takes a Village for their 6th Annual Juneteenth Celebration! Featuring independent artists from the community and abroad, find their community organizations and resources, free activities, food, music, a COVID-19 vaccination station, a marketplace, and evening performances. Tickets will be $10 pre-sale and $15 at the door. Buy tickets through Black Unity Showcase’s ticket purchasing webpage.
Juneteenth Weekend / June 17, 18, 19, and 20
1805 38th Avenue, Seattle, WA
The Negro Passion Play is Seattle-based writer Kathya Alexander’s dramatic re-imagining of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Immanuel, a Black Christ-like figure, set within the context of the American Civil Rights Movement. Audiences will be interactive, including experiencing segregation and desegregation, breaking bread with Immanuel and The Disciples at the Last Supper, singing, dancing, marching, and call-and-response.
Every Monday in June at 12 p.m.
Online via Wa Na Wari’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.
June is Black Music Month. Tune in to The Porch every Monday at noon in June to celebrate Black music!
Featuring Black Stax on June 6, Rell B. Free on June 13, Dero on June 20, and Aliyah Nambi on June 27.
Amanda Ong (she/her) is a Chinese American writer from California. She is currently a master’s candidate at the University of Washington Museology program and graduated from Columbia University in 2020 with degrees in creative writing and ethnicity and race studies.
📸 Featured Image: Photos from Juneteenth celebrations across the South End in 2021. (Photos: Susan Fried) Collage created by the Emerald team.
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