Juneteenth in Prospect Park. Photo: Laylah Amatullah Barrayn
All month long the City is celebrating Juneteenth, which commemorates the date—June 19, 1865—when the last enslaved people of African descent in the United States were freed. African Americans have long observed the day, but it only became recognized as a federal holiday in 2021. As awareness of this significant day grows, so does the number of events that mark it. Here are just a few of the ways you can participate in NYC, including concerts, workshops, festivals and screenings; as well, consider visiting that reflect the impact of the Black community across the five boroughs.
Citywide All month
The New York Public Library’s branches in three boroughs are offering special Juneteenth programming for participants of all ages. Choose from , or , , a screening of the movie , , and a in the Bronx, a showing in Manhattan and a in Staten Island.
Roy Wilkins Park, Merrick Boulevard, St. Albans, Queens June 12–19
Several Queens communities will come together to host an educational programming series, high-school essay contest and festival. For the celebratory day, June 19, local vendors and community members offer shopping, activities for kids, workshops and food.
City Point, 445 Albee Square West, Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn June 16–18
This market features over 50 BIPOC brands and a full weekend of programming, including an open mic night, a game night, a wine tasting, various panels and a performance from Brooklyn United, a youth community arts project. It’s all curated by .
Various locations, Brooklyn June 16–18
The East New York and Brownsville communities help host a three-day Juneteenth event, one that’s been running nearly 15 years. The first day is partially virtual, though ending with an awards dinner presentation at Brooklyn Navy Yard; the festival moves the next day to Linden Park and Gershwin Park for a community celebration with kids’ activities, performances and food vendors. The final day, at the Nethermead in Prospect Park, has a fashion show, more food vendors and a parade.
Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Ave., Crown Heights, Brooklyn June 17–18
Around 30 Black-owned food businesses will feature an array of dishes and drinks at this weekend event, put on by Black-Owned Brooklyn and Weeksville Heritage Center. In addition to having the chance to taste barbecue, red beans and rice and other fare, attendees get to hear DJ sets and shop at a market full of Black-owned brands.
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave., East Harlem, Manhattan June 17
This intimate concert with renowned songwriter and storyteller Queen Esther will delve into selections from her alt-country, jazz and Black Americana–inspired oeuvre that highlight the triumph of the Black spirit.
Staten Island Museum, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Snug Harbor, Staten Island June 17
This free event hosted by historian and genealogist Debbie-Ann Paige teaches participants how to navigate historical documents such as letters, deeds and census records to find their ancestors. Paige will also demonstrate the use of various research tools to uncover family history so participants are empowered to continue the search after class.
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden at South Meadow, 100 Richmond Terrace, Randall Manor, Staten Island Tappen Park and Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island June 17–18
Three separate celebrations over two days mark Juneteenth on Staten Island. takes place at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden’s South Meadow and includes a drum circle, DJ and musical performances, candle-lighting memorial, fashion show and vendor marketplace. Separately, there will also be that combine live music and performances, wellness and literacy workshops, shopping and food vendors and a historical reenactment of the proclamation that freed enslaved Black people by the Freedom Players—day one takes place at Tappen Park; day two is in Historic Richmond Town.
Prospect Park, Brooklyn June 17–19
Brooklyn’s Prospect Park is going all out for Juneteenth, with four separate offerings over three days. First is a family-friendly at Lefferts Historic House; later in the evening Grammy-nominated R&B singer Joe will headline at the Lena Horne Bandshell (part of Celebrate Brooklyn). The next day is at the Lefferts Historic House, featuring DJ sets and games. On the Juneteenth school holiday, several centered on flora and fauna will be offered at the Audubon Center.
Fort Greene Park, Fort Greene, Brooklyn June 18, 10am–6pm
The Lay Out puts on programming year-round focused on joy in the Black community. Their annual Juneteenth event looks to gather that community and others who wish to reclaim space and join in a celebration of free expression and neighborly bonds. Programming includes a morning meditation, a Black history tour of Fort Greene Park, a market full of Black-owned brands, a portrait studio and a live DJ set.
Duffy Square, Seventh Ave. and W. 47th St., Times Square, Manhattan June 18
Attend a free outdoor event right in the middle of Times Square. The Broadway League’s has amassed incredible talent to showcase their gifts through song, dance and spoken word. See a number of Black Broadway performers doing favorite numbers from beloved shows.
Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Ave., Midtown, Manhattan June 19
The historic concert venue will highlight speakers such as co-hosts Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes Jr. and Rev. Dr. Iva E. Carruthers, performance artists including the String Queens, James Gaines Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn and poet Kayden Hern, and several special honorees for its evening event.
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, Manhattan June 19
Gather ’round for a concert of DJs spinning hip-hop favorites. The lineup, which includes DJ Premier, DJ Grandmaster Flash, Kid Capri, DJ SpinKing, Diamond Kuts and DJ Nyla, will celebrate the Black community’s musical legacy.