Locals celebrate Juneteenth with a range of events

by Stacia Friedman
Posted 6/16/22

This weekend brings a variety of opportunities to celebrate Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day and Black Independence Day. 

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Locals celebrate Juneteenth with a range of events


This weekend brings a variety of opportunities to celebrate Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day and Black Independence Day. 

Now in its 157th year, Juneteenth is the nation’s longest-running African American holiday. It commemorates the day in 1865 when federal troops marched into Galveston, Texas, to ensure that all enslaved people were free. It was more than two full years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, declaring that “all persons held as slaves" within rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."

Juneteenth was established by Congress as a national holiday on June 17, 2021. A number of local organizations are celebrating the day with a series of events over the weekend, starting on Thursday. 

Thurs. June 16 

Temple University Performing Arts Center, 1837 N. Broad, will honor Philadelphia’s Black radio pioneers at 2 p.m. Join the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection and the Office of Community Affairs and Engagement for a day of celebration and remembrance. Festivities include a conversation with Glenside resident Bob Perkins and WRTI music host and producer J. Michael Harrison, live entertainment featuring the Renaissance Messengers, reflections by Dr. Molefi Kete Asante, and a special tribute by Robert Kenyatta to William “Cody” Anderson, pioneer in Black radio in Philadelphia.  This event will be live streamed. For more information, contact libraries@temple.edu. 

Sat. June 18

Woodmere Museum is  hosting an afternoon of free, family-friendly, outdoor festivities. Performers include the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble with guest vocalist Sherry Butler; Philadelphia poets Yahne Ndgo and Shirmina Geneva;  and the Universal Drum and Dance ensemble. Visitors are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and refreshments. For a schedule of events, visit Woodmereartmuseum.org. 9201 Germantown Ave., 2-5pm.

Johnson House Historic Site, a National Historic Landmark, Underground Railroad Station, and Center for Social Advocacy, is presenting a day of free educational activities and entertainment, including a parade, live music, children’s activities, food trucks and historic reenactments on the 6300 block of Germantown Ave. from noon to 6 p.m.

Family Pride Picnic in Lovett Park  celebrates LGBTQ and Black families with artists, food, entertainment, and resources. 6945 Germantown Ave, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG) invites you to  the opening reception of “BAM! Black Art Matters”, a gallery show supporting Black Lives Matter and the significance Juneteenth, from 2 to 4 p.m. The Exhibition runs through July 22. 7024 Germantown Ave.

Germantown Art & Sound invites you to enjoy the work of local Black artists displayed in the gallery at Our House Cultural Center at 6380 Germantown Ave. This free BYOB event features area food vendors from noon to 6 p.m. 

Sun. June 19

Historic Germantown and High Point Sunday Market collaborate for a celebration that includes local crafters, music by TR7 + Jason Carr, reflections by Steven Taylor, of  Ubuntu Fine Art, a Black business directory and Juneteenth photo walk. Allens Lane Train Station, Allen Lane and Cresheim Rd., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The African American Museum also offers free admission on Sunday,  and a festive block party featuring live music, dancers, food vendors with family activities and mural making. 701 Arch St., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The historic Lemon Hill Mansion in Fairmount Park is hosting a Vegan Potluck Cookout Juneteenth Celebration. Bring a vegan dish to share. Grills will be available and a $5 donation is suggested. Lemon Hill Drive, accessible from Kelly Drive.