By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member

On June 19th, 1865, the enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas, were finally told they were free. The day was officially labeled Juneteenth, and Black Americans have been celebrating ever since with cookouts, parades, pageants, block parties, concerts and education. This year is no different, so here are some ways to celebrate Black liberation this week. 

The Juneteenth Menu

On Wednesday and Friday, tune into Food Network to watch Michiel Perry, founder of lifestyle brand Black Southern Belle, interview and cook beside southern chefs. During the show, Perry and the chefs will discuss the history of Juneteenth as well as the foods and traditions associated with the holiday. You can access The Juneteenth Menu on Food Network’s website, Instagram and Facebook page and learn recipes for lowcountry shrimp, fried cabbage and collards and old-fashioned pound and tea cakes. 

Reconstruction and African American Memory: A Virtual Juneteenth Event 

On Friday, the Banneker-Douglass Museum, in partnership with the Community CoCreation Lab, the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center, will host a virtual lecture focused on the theme  of “Reconstruction and African American Memory.” The presentation will be given through Zoom at 10 a.m. by Christopher J. Bonner, an associate professor from the University of Maryland. 

Juneteenth Virtual Prison Letter Writing 

The Stop Police Terror Project, an organization based in D.C. that is committed to changing the system of racist and militarized policing, will host a Zoom meeting on Wednesday for people to write letters to the imprisoned. The session will begin at 7 p.m. and allow participants to embrace their incarcerated compatriots in anticipation of Emancipation Day.

Freedom Day Juneteenth Celebration

On Friday from 10:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m., the Reservoir Hill Association will host a free festival in Baltimore city’s German Park. Attendees will celebrate the holiday with food, face painting, musical performances, financial literacy workshops, health insurance enrollment, health and wellness screenings and capacity-building youth workshops led by DewMore Baltimore. The event will also feature a walk-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic. 

Juneteenth Celebration at Hotel Revival

Breaking Bread, a black-owned restaurant currently operating out of Hotel Revival’s Topside, will host a Juneteenth celebration with food, drinks and music on Friday starting at 11 a.m. The event will be in collaboration with Uncle Nearest, a Black-owned premium whiskey brand. 

Juneteenth: Lift Every Voice and Sing

On Thursday, the National Civil Rights Museum joined by nine leading Black museums and historical institutions across the country will host a virtual event to commemorate the holiday through the context of the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The celebration, which starts at 11 a.m., will examine the historical influences on the evolution of being Black in America by exploring and praising the Gullah culture, the perseverance of Little Africa amidst Black Laws and the resiliency of African American during the pandemic. 

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