Last year's Juneteeth march in Washington, D.C.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Put simply, Juneteenth is a celebration of African-American freedom.
Short for "June Nineteenth," it marks the day in 1865 when federal troops arrived
in Texas, freeing all enslaved people by enforcing Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. The oldest longstanding African-American holiday, it was designated as a federal holiday
by Congress on Wednesday. The City of South Miami had declared it a paid holiday
in May after Miami-Dade County did the same
The holiday was largely unobserved by most companies until 2020
, when George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was murdered by police
Whether you decide to go to an art gallery or a drive-in movie, here are the best places reflect on this momentous day in our nation's history on Saturday.
Fourth-Annual Juneteenth Food & Music Celebration
A full weekend awaits with events each night to celebrate Juneteenth. On Friday, from 8 p.m. to midnight, underground R&B musicians will join mixologists and chefs for a night full of food and drinks in Miami's historic Overtown neighborhood. A festival on Saturday at the Sand Bowl at the North Beach Bandshell will serve up live music and famous African-American cuisines. And, finally, Miami Heat team captain Udonis Haslem will host a discussion about Black fatherhood in Aventura on Sunday. Friday, June 18, through Sunday, June 20, at various locations. Admission is free with the exception of the Udonis Haslem dinner which costs $40 to $50 via eventbrite.com.
North Miami Beach's Juneteenth Liberation Celebration
In partnership with the Black Professionals Network, the City of North Miami Beach hosts a day of reflection with multiple events. Come to learn more about Juneteenth's history, why it's celebrated today, economic freedom, and for a social with food catered by Shuckin' and Jivin'. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at the North Miami Beach City Hall, 17011 NE 19th Ave., North Miami Beach. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.
Black Art Brunch at C&I Studios
Celebrate Juneteenth in Fort Lauderdale with a brunch filled with live performances, artwork, vendors, and food. Support local Black artists by attending this fun and lighthearted event. (Attendees must be 21 or older.) Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at C&I Studios 541 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale; Tickets cost $25 to $40 via eventbrite.com.
Miami Gardens' Juneteenth Drive-In Celebration
Delve deeper into understanding the journey from slavery to freedom for Black Americans by coming out to Calder Casino for a drive-in celebration. Musical acts, food trucks, and merchandise will keep you entertained while you take this opportunity to learn and reflect. 4 p.m. Saturday, June 19 at Calder Casino 21001 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.
Juneteenth on Ali Baba Avenue
Take time to look around Opa-locka for uplifting Juneteenth poems. On Saturday, the Arts and Recreation Center (ARC) will come to life with local vendors, interactive workshops, live entertainment, and visual art. This event will be a wonderful experience for the whole family. 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at the ARC, 675 Ali Baba Ave., Opa-locka. Admission is free with RSVP via olcdc.org.
Juneteenth at the Betsy Hotel
Through the lens of poetry and music, the Betsy Hotel invites you to learn more about the holiday's history. From 6 to 11 p.m. in the hotel lobby, there will be jazz musicians and vocalists showcasing their talents. Then, from 9 to 9:30 p.m. at the Betsy Poetry Rail, poets and a saxophonist will be doing the same. 6 to 11 p.m.. Saturday, June 19, at the Betsy Hotel 1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; 305-531-6100; thebetsyhotel.com. Admission is free with RSVP via thebetsyhotel.com.
The Juneteenth Experience at the North Beach Bandshell
Through the City of Miami Beach's Arts in the Park initiative, the Juneteenth Experience will uplift Black art by hosting a night of song, dance, and spoken word. The free event will host a limited in-person audience at North Beach Bandshell and will also be live-streamed. Take some time this Saturday to see what Black Miami has to offer the arts scene. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave. Miami Beach; 786-453-2897; northbeachbandshell.com. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.
Juneteenth Movie Drive-In Night: Queen of Katwe
Take a drive to Lauderdale Lakes to watch Queen of Katwe
. The film, which stars Lupita Nyong'o and Madina Nalwanga, centers on a girl who grows up in rural Uganda and finds her way to becoming an international chess star. The event is hosted by Lauderdale Lakes City Commissioner Veronica Edwards-Phillips. 7 p.m. Saturday, June 19. at Willie L. Webb Sr. Park 3601 NW 21st St., Lauderdale Lakes. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.