Happy Juneteenth 2020!!

The story goes, that on June 19th 1865, General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston Texas and announced that slaves were now free. June Nineteenth “Juneteenth” is celebrated because it is the day when the Emancipation Proclamation, made two and a half years earlier, was finally made known to all Americans.

In 2020, as Juneteenth is receiving increased exposure and emphasis, we celebrate the day recognizing that we have come a long way as a country and a people, but just like it was for those enslaved Americans in Texas who had to wait for two and a half years for the proclamation to reach them, there are some of us who are still waiting for freedom, equality and for justice. #saytheirnames

Emancipation is the start not the end!

So we take the time on June 19th 2020, to stop, look back and celebrate the progress we have made thus far and honor the heroes who have come before us, all while looking forward into the future to the victories that lay ahead.

We, the Board of Directors and Members of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association will do our part to carry the torch as General Gordon Granger and so many others have done throughout history. Big changes sometimes emerge from the smallest acts. Do your part and let’s make this world  more just for all.


Here are a few options for ways to join with others in marking the day in 2020.

Boston’s 10th Annual Juneteenth Emancipation Observance 2020 (Virtual)

Boston Juneteenth Committee
Friday, June 19 1:00 – 2:00 pm and 8:00 – 9:00 pm


How to Build an Anti-Racist Movement, presented by the Boston Globe
Featuring Dr. Ibram Kendi, director of the new BU Center for Antiracist Research and Globe’s Editorial Page Editor Bina Venkataraman
Friday, June 19, 2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. via Zoom Webinar


Juneteenth: A Community Celebration
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Friday, June 19, 4:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m. via Facebook and YouTube


Friday, June 19, 2020 | 12 PM

Castle of Our Skins Instagram or Facebook Live

As part of the weekly 30-second Black Composer Miniature Challenge, Shannon Shea will be presenting the world premiere of “Hannah Elias II” performed by Castle of our Skins Executive & Artistic Director and violist Ashleigh Gordon. Be sure to tune in on time or you might miss it!

Dzidzor: Freedom as an act of Practice

June 19, 2020 | 12:30-1:30 PM

Boston Public Library via YouTube

In the spirit of the Concerts in the Courtyard series, the Boston Public Library presents Dzidzor (Jee-Jaw), African folklore performing artist, author, and entrepreneur. Dzidzor’s style of call and response has re-imagined poetry and story-telling as a way to include the audience in an experience to challenge, inspire, and encourage self beyond traditional forms. She began performing through slam poetry and now curates spaces Black Cotton Club, and teaches in Boston.

Juneteenth: A Community Celebration

June 19, 2020 | 4-7 PM

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
via YouTube or Facebook Live

BAMS Fest has partnered with the MFA for its annual (virtual) Juneteenth celebration to honor the contributions of Black creatives, scholars, and artists to the City of Boston. We have curated two amazing artists, Debo Ray and DJ Where’s Nasty to celebrate all things Black and joyful.

Juneteenth: A Community Celebration

June 19, 2020 | 4-8 PM

Medford Community Media
via Facebook Live

West Medford Community Center and North Shore Juneteenth Association’s Juneteenth Family Fun Day will be held virtually. Enjoy music, spoken word, speakers, dance, and song in honor of the holiday. This event is designed to educate, enlighten, and entertain the cities of Medford, Lynn, and beyond. This is the time to acknowledge the many contributions Black Americans have made in this country!

Summer Spectacular

Friday, June 19, 2020 | 7:30-9:30 PM

via Private WebEx Link
Tickets: $5

Join podcasters and siblings Azeb and Simon as they celebrate the one year anniversary of their podcast, The Freitas Effect. There will be performances, appearances of guests from season 1, giveaways, and some pure, beautiful, Black joy! The dynamic DJ/MC duo Mariamawit and Sahlu Loulseged will be hosting and facilitating the discussion.

Jpbros live: Virtual sketch show

Saturday, June 20, 2020 | 6:45 PM

via Twitch

The JEANPAULBROS are producing a live stream sketch show to help bring some laughs during these hard times. Enjoy 25 minutes of scripted comedy at 7 PM and with comedian Mark-Anthony opening at 6:45 PM. This show is 100% free, but donations to Minnesota Freedom FundReclaim the Block, and Black Lives Matter are encouraged. Let the Black community laugh together again! Click the link below to join in on the fun.


A Celebration of Resilience from Home

Friday, June 19 | All Day | Online

Juneteenth marks our country’s second independence day. Though it has long been celebrated among the African American community, its history has been — until recently — little known to the wider public. The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is excited to mark this important day with the virtual event “Juneteenth: A Celebration of Resilience” this Friday, June 19.

You are invited to join this online event at any time on Friday, and then design your own celebration through online experiences, activities, and videos. You can:

  • Enjoy prerecorded presentations about the history and significance of Juneteenth, including a virtual tour of NMAAHC’s “Freedom’s Promise” exhibit with Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie G. Bunch, the Founding Director of the Museum
  • Listen to a performance of the iconic anthem Lift Every Voice and Sing by renowned vocalist Rochelle Rice
  • Create a Juneteenth menu based on recipes in the Sweet Home Café Cookbook
  • Discover how to trace your ancestors in a workshop presented by the Museum’s Robert Frederick Smith Explore Your Family History Center
  • Design your own Juneteenth banner
  • Hear an African American folk tale told by renowned storyteller Diane Macklin
  • And more!

Tune in online any time this Friday, June 19, to celebrate Juneteenth safely from your home.

Check It Out
What is Juneteenth?

Although the Emancipation Proclamation officially took effect on January 1, 1863, freedom did not immediately come for all enslaved people because Confederate-controlled states refused to implement it. Freedom finally came nationally on June 19, 1865, when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved people in the state were free by executive decree. This day came to be known as “Juneteenth” by the newly freed people in Texas.

Take a virtual tour

You can learn more about Juneteenth on a virtual tour through an virtual online exhibition right now from home! Discover its historical legacy by visiting this Google Arts and Culture online exhibit — which includes a video feature about the Emancipation Proclamation with prominent historians and former Attorney General Eric Holder — curated by the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Take the Tour

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