Thursday, June 17, 2021

Get Out! It's Juneteenth and There's So Much to Learn, See, and Do


Juneteenth event by 
the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition
by Peggy Robin

With the recent, unanimous Senate vote in favor, Juneteenth is well on its way to becoming a national holiday, a day to celebrate the end of slavery

Our city has long had its own holiday to mark the day slavery was ended in DC – Emancipation Day, April 16th – but, truth be told, it’s not a day covered in glory, as precious freedom came about by having the government pay off the enslavers. The liberation of Juneteenth, on the other hand, was secured by those who fought and died to end slavery.

Juneteenth has become the date that has captured imagination of the people, becoming the occasion for various forms of celebration, education, and artistic expression.  as an occasion of celebration. There are a myriad of such events happening all over the DMV. Here’s a short sampling, with something for everyone.

When: At 9:00 PM Wednesday June 16 through Saturday June 19.
Where: Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts & Wisconsin Avenues, NW
What: The Washington National Cathedral will be lit to recognize the celebration of Juneteenth from June 15 to 19 from 9 p.m. to sunrise. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. This year Washington National Cathedral will light the west façade in celebration and in honor of Juneteenth.
Please note: When visiting the Cathedral grounds, please wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines.
More information:

Emancipation USA: Juneteenth in Texas & The End of Slavery in the DMV
When: Thursday, June 17, 2021, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Where: Virtual – Register:
What: Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the US. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that all enslaved persons were now free. This was an entire two and a half years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. Join us for an evening of learning with historian and scholar Carroll R. Gibbs for an in-depth look at the history of Juneteenth in Texas and our regional emancipation celebrations here in DC, Maryland and Virginia along with a sneak peak of the Capital Jewish Museum's main exhibit which includes an interactive map where you can uncover the history of redlining in DC. About our speaker: Mr. Carroll R. Gibbs, a Howard University graduate and DC Humanities Council scholar, is the author/co-author of six books and a frequent national and international lecturer on an array of historical topics. After military service, he began giving public lectures on Black History in 1972. He has appeared several times on the History Channel, French and Belgian television, and he wrote, researched, and narrated "Sketches In Color," a 13-part companion series to the acclaimed PBS series, "The Civil War" for WHUT-TV, the Howard University television station. He won the 2008 Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation in Public Education, given annually by the Mayor of the District of Columbia. In 2015, Mr. Gibbs was chosen as one of the 50 most influential people in the city by the Washington Informer newspaper. When: Thursday, June 17, 7:00 PM Where: This program will be virtual. This program is brought to you in partnership with the Capital Jewish Museum.
More Info at Edlavitch JCC

When: Jun 17, 2021   5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m.
Where: The Rectory on Princess Street 711 Princess Street Alexandria, VA, 703-683-6040 x203 
What:  Juneteenth Celebration: “Day of Jubilee!” With CAAPA – Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts
Shana Oshiro, soprano | Jarrod Lee, baritone | Shawna Williams, dancer | Dr. Lester Green, piano | Pamela Simonson, narrator.
Join in an uplifting and festive musical celebration of Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Featuring texts by Langston Hughes and Martin Luther King, Jr. and music by trailblazing composers Margaret Bonds and Adolphus Hailstork. A Joyful and reflective celebration through song, narration, and for the first time in the Secret Garden – dance!
Part of Sounds of Hope & Harmony series of outdoor, socially-distanced concerts. Concerts Thursdays at 5:30pm & 7pm. 
PRICE: $42 - VIEW WEBSITE for more details and tickets:

JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION  – the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition
When: Saturday, June 19 from 12 – 4 PM
Where: Macedonia Baptist Church, 5119 River Road, Bethesda, MD
What: SAVE MOSES CEMETERY! Speeches by Historian Carroll Gibbs, Dr. Jack Rasmussen, Director, American University Katzen Arts Center, Mr. Harvey Matthews, Descendant, River Road Community, and many more. Artists and Performers: Evergreen Productions, Nana Malaya Rucker, Ayomi, African Drummers, and many more.
More information:    

When: Saturday June 19th 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where:  3 Stars Brewing Company, 6400 Chillum Pl NW, Washington, DC 20012, Phone(202) 847-3755
What: Hosted by 3 Stars Brewing Company, curated by World Of Light Media, sound by the Beat Konductaz, Juneteenth 2021 will be a celebration of Black history and culture, and the continuing cause of recognizing Juneteenth as a national federal holiday. There will be a world of music, from funk to hip-hop, with live beat sessions and cyphers led by the Beat Konductaz and featuring special guest producers and celebrity guest judges. Several Black vendors and Black-owned businesses will be on site selling goods and foods, including the brewers of Soul Mega DC! We are excited and honored to host this celebration of family, love, and community. 
Reservations are recommended, we accommodate walk-ups as space permits.
More info:

Moechella Juneteenth Weekend and Unity Fest
When: All weekend
Where: 2700 Martin Luther King Ave SE, D.C.
What: Moechella, a group dedicated to preserving D.C.'s legacy of go-go music and sharing its importance in Black history, is hosting a Juneteenth weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Join Long Live GoGo's newsletter for information about rallies.
On Friday, there will be a Rock the Block Party at Audi Field that includes free workouts to live go-go music from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
On Saturday, join the Million MOE March for Equity and Justice starting at Black Lives Matter Plaza to U Street. The march will feature Top Band, Ambition Band and N2L.
On Sunday from noon to 8 p.m., join Moechella's Unity Fest at Gateway Pavilion for a day of free music on two stages featuring Junkyard, EU feat Sugar Bear, TOB, Ambition, ABM and MTM. There will be vendors, food trucks and a kids' haven.

ONE DC Juneteenth in DC
When: June 19, 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Where: 2500 Martin Luther King Junior Avenue SE, Washington, D.C.
What: ONE DC will celebrate Juneteenth and the reopening of their Black Workers and Wellness Center, a community-run space in Anacostia used to organize for racial and economic justice. Their Juneteenth celebration will feature tours of the building, live music by local artists, food vendors, mutual aid and community outreach booths and more. You can visit the Black Workers and Wellness Center between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
RSVP here.

The Second Annual Juneteenth Ride and Run
When: June 19 and 20
Where: 804 N St NW, Washington, D.C.
What: This half marathon will take participants along the entire Civil War Defenses of Washington Trail. Runners can choose two distance options. To celebrate Juneteenth, runners can join the 10K or half-marathon. Bikers can ride 6.19 miles in solidarity to represent the date, June 19th. Following the 6/19 group ride, riders have the option of riding longer distances by joining either the 18-mile group or the 65-mile group. Together, these distances represent 1865, the year the final enslaved people learned of abolition. Join this event early Saturday or Sunday morning at Fort Stanton Park. Admission is free but registration is required prior to the event.
Sign up at

* Well, not the end of all slavery in the US – but it was the end for one of the last holdouts in the south – Galveston, Texas, which, more than two months after the surrender of the Confederacy on April 9, 1865, had still not received word that the Emancipation Proclamation (proclaimed two and a half years earlier) would take effect wherever the Union had won control. And even after that, in border states like Delaware that had remained in the Union, slavery persisted until the ratification of the 13th amendment on December 6, 1865.

The “Get Out!” events column is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.   

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