Across the country, celebrations are being held to honor Juneteenth, the oldest national commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States.
Now a federally recognized holiday, ‘Juneteenth National Independence Day’ marks the date when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas learned that the Civil War had ended and that they were free. Texas was the last state in the Confederacy to disavow institutional slavery, and this news arrived on June 19, 1865 — a full 2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
Juneteenth has long been a significant day of celebration, joy and rest for Black and African American people, but there was far less interest and participation from White and non-Black people of color in the U.S. until recent years. Today, more widespread acknowledgment of Juneteenth marks a shift in culture as more people work to address anti-Black racism in America. Yet this recent rise in popularity brings with it attempts to dilute the significance of radical Black history and ongoing liberation struggles — and, in some cases, outright co-opting of Black culture for commercial gain.
For the Black community, Juneteenth is a time for jubilation, restoration and pride in Blackness. For White and non-Black people of color, the holiday represents an opportunity to begin or recommit to the work needed to combat anti-Black racism — and to pursue meaningful reparations by supporting Black resilience in our communities.
Below are a number of upcoming events and opportunities to celebrate Juneteenth, along with pathways to action and resources for further learning throughout the year. Supporting Black land stewards is one of the many ways you can join in our mission to end hunger and its root causes, and we hope you’ll get involved as a donor or volunteer!
Juneteenth Celebrations and Events
White and non-Black people are welcome to look into the details of each event and reflect on whether or not it is an appropriate space to participate.
June 11: Juneteenth Celebration | Zenger Farms, 11:30AM-3:00PM, Lunch, Arts & Crafts, DJs, Speakers
June 17: City African-American Network Presents Juneteenth Celebration | Patton Square Park, 12:00PM-6:00PM, Featuring Tahirah Memory, The Norman Sylvester Band
June 17: The Voices Project Presents Juneteenth Music & Arts Night | Portland Covenant Church, 7:00PM
June 18: Prose Before Bros Presents The FREEDOM Fest Juneteenth Book Festival | Peninsula Park, 12:00PM-6:00PM
June 18: The Voices Project Presents Juneteenth Black Business Fair | All Saints Episcopal Church, 10:00AM-2:00PM
June 19: Juneteenth 50th Year Anniversary Celebration | Lillis-Albina Park, 11:00AM, Live Music, Parade, Vendors
June 19: Juneteenth Live Music w/ Kingsley | Stem Wine Bar, 1:00PM-3:00PM
June 19: Respond to Racism & LO for LOve Presents Juneteenth | Millennium Plaza Park, 2:00-4:00PM, Speakers, Live Music, Poetry, DJ
Check out additional events and gatherings statewide, compiled by the Oregon Legislative BIPOC Caucus
Actions, Resources and Opportunities for Support
Black people and allies alike are encouraged to check out opportunities to support and get involved with Black-led organizations and businesses.
Give or volunteer with our longtime partners at Mudbone Grown and the Feed’em Freedom Foundation — working at the intersection of agriculture, land stewardship, regional food security response, and economic prosperity
Visit Black farmers and vendors at Portland’s farmers markets
Support efforts to grow food and community at Black Futures Farm
Donate to help provide weekly farm fresh produce from BIPOC farmers to BIPOC families via Equitable Giving Circle
Read PDX Monthly’s 2020 feature on Black-led farming and food sovereignty in our communities
Find resources and grant opportunities for new farmers of color, compiled by Friends of Family Farmers
As always, if you or someone you know is in need of food assistance, know that food is available to all who need it. Check out our FoodFinder app for pantries, free food markets and meal sites near you.