[Miami Beach] – The City of Miami Beach will commemorate the 156th Juneteenth Independence Day with immersive activities that will share the history and impact of the holiday on the Miami Beach community.
The city has developed a full day of artistic and educational programs. Beginning with a gathering at Pride Park on Saturday, June 19 at 9 a.m. — to install a permanent plaque to remember the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States while honoring the contributions of Black Americans.
Last year, the city planted a rainbow eucalyptus tree to forever remember the day in 1865 when enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas learned of their freedom from Major Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union Army. He announced the end of the Civil War two months after the surrender of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Appomattox, Virginia.
The holiday was named by combining the month of June with the number 19. It is believed to be the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
Reflective events celebrating education, food, arts and a new plaque in Pride Park
The following Juneteenth events are scheduled to take place around Miami Beach:
“Zen and the Art of Juneteenth”
Monday, June 14 at 7 p.m. The Betsy Hotel, FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios and the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. The virtual program features community leaders discussing the history and meaning of Juneteenth. Speakers include Dr. Valerie Patterson, DeAnne Connolly Graham, attorney André L. Williams, Heather Shaw and Kunya Rowley. Click here for event details.
“Juneteenth: Discussing the History, Meaning, and How It’s Celebrated”
A virtual talk starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15 moderated by Kunya Rowley, founder and artistic director of Hued Songs and Janey Tate, publisher and editor-in-chief of HyLo News Miami. They will be joined by Professor Robert Morris of Broward College. The event will be streamed live on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofmiamibeach.
Juneteenth Day of Freedom, the second annual event at the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree
9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 19 at Pride Park, 1809 Meridian Avenue. Performances by Rebecca “Butterfly” Vaughns, Jim Gaisor with students from New World School of the Arts and the Peter London Global Dance Company. The ceremony will be streamed live on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofmiamibeach.
Juneteenth Food Festival with the Hungry Black Man and Miami Beach Parks & Recreation
2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 19 in the sandbowl adjacent to the North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave. Bring your appetite as you sample an assortment of Black and vegan soul food along with Afro-Caribbean favorites. Dance the afternoon away to the sounds of a dynamic music set as children enjoy an interactive play village. Admission is free. Food and drinks are extra.
The Juneteenth Experience at the Bandshell
Get ready for an evening of song, dance and the spoken word starting at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 19 at the historic North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave. Directed by Michelle Grant-Murray with the musical direction of Wilkie Ferguson, III, performances feature a cast of 10 artists using their talents to tell the Juneteenth story. Dance, spoken words and song create the foundation for a celebratory, multidisciplinary performance fusing new and existing works. For more information and to RSVP, click here.
Jazz In The Lobby at The Betsy
Saturday, June 19 from 6-11 p.m. at The Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Dr. Featuring pianist Allen Paul, vocalists Carole Ann Taylor, Leesa Richards, Brenda Alford and Nicole Yarling. Click here for details.
Poetry & Music at The Betsy
Saturday, June 19 from 9-9:30 p.m. at The Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Dr. Poetry and spoken word with Rebecca “Butterfly Vaughs, Geoffrey Philip and saxophonist Gregory LeDon. Click here for details.