This year, Washington State recognized Juneteenth as a paid state holiday after the dedicated advocacy of many. This day is commemorated on June 19 as a day of remembrance for the day enslaved African-Americans living in Texas learned of their freedom. The new law also encourages Washingtonians to use the day to revisit our solidarity and commitment to antiracism, educate ourselves about slave history, and continue having conversations that uplift every Washingtonian. Here are some ways to do that:
- Read this essay on Juneteenth written by Dr. Quintard Taylor, the founder of BlackPast.org.
- Watch this 2-minute mini-documentary also produced by BlackPast.
- As with all history…it’s complicated! We learned a lot from this article, which explores the complexities of Juneteenth.
- More reading! In case you missed it, the South Seattle Emerald published several great articles last year and a guide to events happening this year.
- Whether it’s virtual or in-person, attend a Juneteenth event—here are just a few being put on by King County organizations and individuals:
All week; various times
Virtual events with the Northwest African American Museum and community partners.
ELEVATE (v.) raise or lift to a higher position
Wednesday, June 16 at 6:30 pm
Presented by Seattle Theatre Group in collaboration with Historian and President of the Black Heritage Society of Washington State, Stephanie Johnson-Toliver.
1619: Resistance / Resilience / Remembrance
Saturday, June 19, 2:00 pm
Virtual event featuring Mr. Delbert Richardson of the national award-winning American History Traveling Museum: The Unspoken Truths. Co-sponsored by BHS and MOHAI.
No Healing, No Peace: A Walking Meditation for Black Liberation
Saturday, June 19, 10:00 am–1:00 pm
Join Nile’s Edge Healing Arts for a guided walking meditation in Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Memorial Park.