Juneteenth is a celebration that marks the end of the enslavement of African-American people in the United States.
It marks the day, June 19th, 1865, when the Emancipation Proclamation (which had been issued on January 1st, 1863) was finally read to enslaved African–Americans in Texas.
It took more than two years for word of freedom to get to enslaved people, and freedom is still a process. Some of the Juneteenth events are calls to action, and all encourage community involvement.
We are listing some of the Juneteenth celebrations in the Triangle. Please check back soon, as more will be added.
16th Annual NC Juneteenth Celebration
The NC Juneteenth Celebration takes place on Saturday, June 19th, 2021, from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., on East Main Street, between Roxboro and Dillard Streets, in Durham. Enjoy live music, vendors, kids’ activities and more.
Capital City Juneteenth Celebration
The Inaugural Capital City Juneteenth Celebration is a collection of virtual and in-person events in Raleigh from June 16th to 19th. Some of the highlights:
- Juneteenth Celebration at NC Museum of History, June 18th, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Juneteenth Celebration on grounds of the State Capitol, June 19th, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Juneteenth Celebration at Dix Park, June 19th, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Juneteenth Celebration at Pope House Museum
Celebrate emancipation at the Pope House Museum, 511 S. Wilmington Street, Raleigh, all weekend long, from June 18th to 20th. There will be free self-guided tours all weekend, neighborhood tours, children’s crafts and more. The Pope House Museum is the only African-American house museum in the state of North Carolina, and offers a glimpse into the life of one of Raleigh’s most intriguing citizens, Dr. Manassa Thomas Pope, who was the only African-American man to run for mayor of a Southern capital in the midst of the Jim Crow Era.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Juneteenth Festival
The First Annual Chapel Hill-Carrboro Juneteenth Festival will take place the weekend of June 18th to June 20th, 2021. This year it will be a combination of online, in-person and hybrid events. One highlight will be a Juneteenth Motorcade on Saturday, June 19th, at 4 p.m. Decorate your vehicle and join in this drive through historic Black neighborhoods!
Cary’s Juneteenth Celebration
On Saturday, June 19th, 2021, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the Town of Cary is holding a Juneteenth celebration at Sertoma Amphitheater at Bond Park, that will feature the Magic of Africa Rhythm Drummers, the Al Strong Quintet and many more performers and speakers.
Stagville State Historic Site, at 5828 Old Oxford Highway in Durham, contains the remnants of one of the largest plantations of the pre-Civil War South. It offers programs all year that educate the public about the life of the enslaved people who lived there. Historic Stagville is offering Emancipation Tours every Saturday in June, at 11 a.m. The tours are $2 for adults and $1 for children and seniors. On June 19th, they’ll be hosting a Juneteenth program from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with free tours all day.
Johnston Community College
On June 18th, 2021, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., enjoy live music and food trucks on the Learning Resource Center Lawn of Johnston Community College, 245 College Road, Smithfield. This event is a celebration of Black Music Month, as well as a Juneteenth kickoff. Enjoy music by Jus Once Band and DJ XL. This is a free event.
Raleigh Juneteenth Festival
Celebrate Juneteenth at the Raleigh Juneteenth Festival, at the Garner Road Community Center, 2235 Garner Road, Raleigh, on Saturday, June 19th, 2021, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. This free event will include a bounce house, face painting, storytelling, games, food and more.
Juneteenth movie, music and fish fry
Fruit of Labor World Cultural Center, 4200 Lake Ridge Drive, Raleigh, is hosting a Juneteenth movie night on Saturday, June 19th, 2021. Starting at 6 p.m., there will be music and a fish fry, followed by the movie “The Hate You Give” at 8 p.m. admission is free. Food for purchase.
Hayti Heritage Center
Hayti Heritage Center, 804 Old Fayetteville Street, Durham, is celebrating Juneteenth on Friday, June 18th, 2021, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
This special 3rd Friday Art and Business Walk will feature music, art, food trucks, vendors and more.
Apex Juneteenth Celebration
The Apex Juneteenth Celebration will take place on Saturday, June 19th, 2021, from 11 am. to 4 p.m., at The Depot, 220 N. Salem Street, Apex. It will feature performance, games for the whole family, and food trucks.
Juneteenth Parade and Cookout in Smithfield
Johnston County: Celebrate Juneteenth at the Juneteenth Freedom Day Festival on Saturday, June 19th, 2021, starting at 12 p.m.
The celebration will start with a parade, which will begin at The Alumni Center, 1110 Massey Street, in Smithfield, and proceed to the Smith-Collins Park, 909 E. Lee Street.
Enjoy a cookout and other festivities, including HBCU Pride events.
Juneteenth Food Forage on the Eno
Wild Food Foragers is a group that leads foraging walks throughout the Triangle. On these walks you will learn about the uncultivated plants and fungi that are safe and nutritious to forage and eat. Normally these walks have a ticket price of $20 or more, although two spaces are always set aside for anyone experiencing food insecurity. On Saturday, June 19th, 2021, the group is leading a special Juneteenth Forage on the Eno River. This forage is free for everyone, but there’s limited space, and pre-registration is required. Learn about how to participate here.
The Cookout — A Celebration in Honor of Juneteenth
the North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign Cultural Arts Committee is presenting The Cookout — A Celebration in Honor of Juneteenth on Saturday, June 26th, 2021, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at The Unity Center of Peace, 8800 Seawell School Road, Chapel Hill.
The event will include special presentations about Juneteenth and its history, face painting, art exhibitions, dance performances, a Black vendors farmers market, music performances, and even professional wrestling.
The cost is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors (age 66+), $7 for youth (age 6-17) and free for children under 5.
Storywalk for Juneteenth
From Friday, June 11th, to Monday, June 21st, 2021, there will be a Juneteenth storywalk at William B. Umstead State Park, 8801 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh. A storywalk is a children’s book and a walking trail combined. Walk the 1/2 mile Inspiration Trail and read a book about the Juneteenth holiday.
North Carolina Museum of Art
The North Carolina Museum of Art has a full weekend of Juneteenth events planned for June 18th to 20th, including concerts, stories and activities for kids, film screening and discussions. Learn about N.C. Museum of Art’s Juneteenth weekend.
Online viewing of The River Speaks of Thirst
On Saturday, June 19th, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., The Justice Theater Project is offering free online viewing of The River Speaks Thirst, which is a collection of filmed performances of the album of poetry by Jaki Shelton Green. Click here to watch on June 19th.