NEW ORLEANS — Juneteenth, the holiday so pivotal in the history of the Black community in the U.S., is receiving newfound recognition across the nation in 2020.
The June 19 holiday commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States.
Organizations and citizens across the country are now looking to the longstanding, unofficial holiday in an attempt to support the community in the wake of George Floyd's death and global protests demanding racial justice.
In New Orleans, the Saints and Pelicans franchises are among the high-profile organizations to designate the day as a paid company holiday.
Nationally, Google, Nike and Target have joined a growing list of companies around the country that have decided to give their employees time off for Juneteenth.
Below is a list of celebrations, educational events and more to celebrate the holiday in the New Orleans area:
Juneteenth Millennial March New Orleans
The activist group "Mobilize Millennials Movement' has organized a large demonstration and march in New Orleans Friday afternoon.
The organization's founder, J. Christopher Johnson, says the goal of the march is to get young people, those in the Millennial and Generation Z age groups, involved in civics, voting and education.
"We need to centralize young people, highlight the historic changes made by young revolutionaries, reaffirm the generations of the voting power we do have when we come together, gain the attention of lawmakers, and ultimately celebrate the freedom we have to observe this Juneteenth," Johnson said in part.
The march begins at Louis Armstrong Park at 2:30 p.m. and goes to City Hall.
For more information, click here.
Freedom Parade in Covington:
Covington Councilman Peter Lewis has organized a community car parade at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 19.
The parade will happen in Covington between 25th and 31st avenues. It will be followed by a day of education, resources and vendors at Rev. Peter Atkins Park
"There is no better way to make a difference than to come together reflect and rejoice in the name of our Freedom. We must gather our elders and youth then educate them about, yesterday, today, and tomorrow," Lewis said.
Lewis said cars, trucks, trailer and golf carts are encouraged to properly social distance. No music with profanity or "horse playing" is allowed. Decorations and positive posters are recommended.
Mayor Cantrell's "Embrace the Culture" virtual series events
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell will host multiple virtual events on Friday to celebrate and educate for Juneteenth.
The mayor's "Embrace the Culture series" continued earlier in the week with virtual segments including visual arts, crafts, music and more.
- Friday, June 19 — Celebration for Juneteenth, Kids Corner produced by Rise My Child Foundation and Tonya Boyd-Cannon, 12 p.m.-1 p.m. Watch live here.
- Friday, June 19 — Tonya Boyd-Cannon. Live band, James Andrews & Crescent City All-Starts, 3 p.m. Watch live on Facebook here.
- Friday, June 19 — CANO-Artists in View, Brian St. Cyr. Watch live on CANO website here.
The series was created by the mayor's office to, "support local expressions of art via visual arts, literary arts, film, music, crafts, fashion, and the culinary world from a collaborative and diverse group of artists."
For more information on the series, click here.
New Orleans Museum of Art free sculpture garden admission:
The New Orleans Museum of Art will offer free admission to the Sculpture Garden in City Park on Friday.
"On this day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, we hope the Sculpture Garden will provide an opportunity for peace and reflection," organizers wrote.
Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Sculpture Garden is currently open Wednesdays through Sundays. Read more about safety standards.
New Orleans School of Ballet free performances
The New Orleans School of Ballet will offer free Juneteenth Celebration performances on Friday evening and Saturday morning.
"Our Juneteenth Celebration will commemorate Black lives lost and to celebrate Black beauty, love, strength, and grace through a site specific dance performance," organizers wrote.
All donations will go to the New Orleans Peoples' Assembly and to benefit the work of the residents of Gordon Plaza.
To donate or learn more, click here.
Xavier University of Louisiana social justice webinars
The Xavier University of Louisiana’s Center for Equity, Justice and the Human Spirit will host a social justice webinar Friday. It will feature panelists such as Louisiana ACLU Director Alanah Odoms and Lieutenant General Russel Honoré.
The first webinar, "The Truth Exposed: Environmental Justice & COVID-19," happened on Wednesday, June 17 at 5 p.m.
The second webinar, "The Joy and The Wound: Witnessing America, Race, and Righteous Rage," is scheduled for Friday, June 19 at 11:30 a.m.
"The two virtual panel discussions seek to analyze the current events in the United States with respect to how environmental racism is killing people of color as well as the overall legal, historical, and socio-political issues surrounding race relations that remain ever present," according to organizers.
For more information, click here.
National Bar Association virtual town hall
The National Bar Association will host a Juneteenth virtual town hall discussion called "Road to Reform, Equity, and Freedom."
It is scheduled for Friday at noon - 2:30 p.m. CST.
"Join us for a discussion on police reform, criminal justice reform, reparations, removal of confederate statues, justice in policing act, anti-lynching legislation," organizers wrote.
Speakers will include ranking NBA members, congress members and experts from across the country.
Newcomb Art Museum holds online panel discussion
Tulane University's Newcomb Art Museum will host an online panel discussion featuring Wendi Cooper, Milan Nicole Sherry, and Syrita Steib on the "Movement for Black Lives"
"In celebration of the 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth, the Newcomb Art Museum invites you to learn, listen, and engage in a conversation exploring the context of social justice in New Orleans, artistic expression in protest movements, and the intersectionality of the Movement for Black Lives," organizers wrote.
Some history: The Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in the United States was issued by President Abraham Lincoln in January of 1863. However, it took much longer for news to spread. So, this news didn’t reach slaves in Galveston, Texas until June 19, 1865.
Union General Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation to African-Americans. Slaves there were reportedly so happy about their freedom that they started dancing and celebrating, and generations have celebrated on June 19 ever since.