10 ways to celebrate Juneteenth this week in Madison

This year includes a broad range of events that celebrate, educate, and inspire activism in the cause of freedom and justice.
Juneteenth Virtual Event Poster
courtesy of Kujichagulia Madison Center for Self Determination.
Juneteenth 2020 Madison goes virtual with a full weekend of celebrations.

This year marks the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth. On June 19, 1865, Union Major Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas with news that slavery had ended and the war was over. This came two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation giving slaves in Texas their long-awaited freedom. The day has been celebrated by Black people since the late 1800s but has taken on new urgency amid protests following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Brown, and most recently Rayshard Brooks at the hands of the police. This year includes a broad range of events that celebrate, educate, and inspire activism in the cause of freedom and justice.

To hear more about Juneteenth, read this article written by Fabu Phillis Carter, a literary artist and educator, who served as Madison Poet Laureate from 2008 to 2012.

Madison Juneteenth 2020 | Virtual Event
Kujichagulia Madison Center for Self Determination will host this year’s Madison Juneteenth 2020 with a week of virtual events featuring artistic and cultural presentations, community conversations, and interactive activities. We’ve outlined some of the events below, but click here for the full list of events and sign-up instructions.

Virtual Spoken Word & Poetry Open Mic Night
June 18, 7-8:30 p.m.
Celebrate Juneteenth with an intimate night of spoken word and open mic poetry. The event will feature prominent voices in the local community such as organizer and poet T.S Banks and Madison-based hip-hop artist Rob Dz. Local poets are encouraged to sign up for the open mic. The free event is open to 18-years-old and older.

Black Music Matters
June 19, 6:30 p.m.
Singer, songwriter, conductor and Producer Adrian Dunn will perform his latest song “I Open my Mouth.” The piece will be sung in honor of Eric Garner and George Floyd.

Community Line Dancing Lessons
June 19, 7-9 p.m.
Turn the living room into the dance floor this Friday. The event kicks off with an hour of line dance lessons hosted by DJ Ace. Once everyone is warmed up, DJ M. White gets Club Quarantine moving with a musical journey through the Black diaspora. The event is open to all ages.

The Strength of our Resilience | Black Voices Matter
June 20, 1-3 p.m.
In partnership with the UW Carbone Cancer Center, The Strength of our Resilience sessions will provide a space for local Black doctors and health professionals to discuss the challenges of COVID-19 in the Black community.

Juneteenth Cooking Class & Family Dinner
June 20, Kitchen Chemist Presentation 11 a.m.,  Juneteenth Family Dinner 6:00 p.m.
Cap off the weekend with a two-part virtual cooking demonstration offered in partnership with Pasture and Plenty and Monica O’Connell of Curtis & Cake. The first event is a kitchen chemist presentation where patrons will embark on a science scavenger hunt. With appetites and imaginations awakened, the event concludes at 6 p.m. with a presentation titled Our History our Food that will take viewers through the process of making a traditional African-American meal. Ingredients for both events will be delivered prior to their start.

Juneteenth Rally
June 19, 12 – 7 p.m., Olin Park
Focused on a call for freedom and an end to police brutality and other racial injustices, the Juneteenth Rally at Olin Park will also include yoga sessions, spoken word performances and voter registration. Those looking to volunteer can reach out via the Facebook event page.

AACC Juneteenth Give Away
June 19, 3 p.m., Alliant Energy Center
The African American Council of Churches will host a Juneteenth Give Away at the Alliant Energy Center. The event is open to the public where gift cards, face masks, boxed food and essentials provided by Second Harvest Foodbank will be available. Attendees can also receive information about voter registration and completing the Census.

Juneteenth Celebration with Nubian Overlord
June 19, 3-10 p.m.
Bierock Madison
Bierock Madison and Northside Town Center are coming together for a Juneteenth celebration. Bierock will feature a keg of Nubian Overload from the black-owned brewery based in Hammond, Indiana. All sales from the keg will go toward a Black civic organization located in Madison.

Juneteenth Celebration Featuring Ribmasters WI
June 19, 5-9 p.m.
Ribmasters WI will be kicking off the Dinner at Breese restaurant series on Juneteenth. Ribmasters, owned by Atonye Marsh, will be offering rib tips, ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, loaded pulled pork nachos, turkey tips, grilled chicken, corn on the cob, homemade baked beans and french fries.

Crescendo Espresso Bar Donations
June 19, during store hours
In celebration of Juneteenth, Crescendo is donating 19% of sales from both stores to the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development. They will also be offering a strawberry soda all weekend with 100% of proceeds going to Nehemiah.

Henry Michaels is an editorial intern at Madison Magazine.

Did we miss your Juneteenth event? Email Maija Inveiss at minveiss@madisonmagazine.com and we’ll add it to the list.