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Mayor Walsh invites residents to join Juneteenth celebrations


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Press Office

As part of this year's celebration, the City has compiled a list of virtual Juneteenth events in Boston and nationally.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced today that the City of Boston will celebrate Juneteenth with virtual events in Boston, and invites residents to recognize this day that honors the anniversary of the reading of the General Orders, No. 3, which officially informed slaves that they were free. 

"Every year, we look forward to joining together with our communities to celebrate and recognize Juneteenth in Franklin Park and other places," said Mayor Walsh. "While we can't gather in person this year, I invite all Boston residents to take time today to recognize and celebrate this day, and the Black Americans who lead the way in resisting slavery, demanding freedom, and calling our nation to justice. I continue to stand with our Black residents in recommitting Boston to breaking the chains of systemic racism in our city and country." 

As part of this year's celebration, the City has compiled a list of virtual Juneteenth events in Boston and nationally, including:

  • The Museum of Fine Arts Boston Juneteenth Community Celebration

    • Time: Friday, June 19, 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

    • The Museum of Fine Arts Boston will host its eighth annual Juneteenth community celebration online to honor the contributions of Black creatives, scholars, and artists to the City of Boston. The event includes a panel discussion moderated by Makeeba McCreary, Story time with artist and children's book illustrator Ekua Holmes, Art making led by artist and educator Chanel Thervil, a Spotlight Talk with artist Roberto Lugo, recitations of speeches, poems, and song lyrics by participants in the MFA's teen programs.

  •  A Juneteenth Poetry Reading with Jabari Asim with Porsha Olayiwola

    • Time: Friday, June 19, 7:00 p.m.

    • Porter Square Books will host a virtual Juneteenth poetry reading to celebrate the release of Jabari Asim's newest poetry collection, Stop & Frisk: American Poems, with Porsha Olayiwola, the current poet laureate for the City of Boston. 

  • "Poetry As Protest" with Dr. Malcolm Tariq

    • Time: Friday, June 19, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

    • The Royall House and Slave Quarters will host a virtual poetry night with Dr. Malcolm Tariq, who will read from his book, Heed the Hollow. This event will serve as the inaugural poetry reading in a new series "Poetry As Protest" from the Royall House and Slave Quarters.

  • A virtual Juneteenth Music Festival

    • Time: June 18 - June 19

    • The 2020 Juneteenth Music Festival is a virtual music world-wide music festival celebrating African American history and the mission to make Juneteenth a national holiday.

  • Freedom on Juneteenth

    • Time: Friday, June 19, 7:00 p.m.

    • Karamu House, the country's oldest African American producing theater, will debut Freedom on Juneteenth, an original theatrical production and artistic response to the recent murders of Black Americans through music, dance and spoken word.  

In addition, the City has released a newly designed Juneteenth Boston "B," created by City Employee Tyissha Jones-Horner. Tyissha serves as the Administrative Director of Volunteer programs for the Age Strong Commission and is a member of the City of Boston's Black Employee Network. She attends the University of Massachusetts Lowell's Kennedy College of Sciences and is in her last year of studying towards a degree in computer science. Tyissha's inspiration behind her design was the love of her people, freedom, social justice, and the many mothers who pray over the lives of their Black children.

The City has also compiled a list of resources including activities for students, books, articles, documentaries and films, podcasts, YouTube videos and more to help people understand the history and meaning of Juneteenth. Residents can also take part in the celebration by supporting Boston's Black and Brown owned businesses, or joining the conversation on social media with the hashtag #IamJuneteenth. 

Mayor Walsh offers remarks on the importance of Juneteenth

Mayor Walsh offers remarks on the importance of Juneteenth

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