Juneteenth marks the end of slavery in the United States, has been celebrated by African-Americans since the late 1800s. Newly-freed Black people celebrated the first Juneteenth in 1866 to commemorate liberation—with food, singing, and the reading of spirituals—and take pride in their progress. 155 years later, Juneteenth celebrations span the world, and calls for Juneteenth to be an official holiday have grown stronger amid an international reckoning around civil rights and racism brought on by the murder of George Floyd.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic leading organizers to cancel many larger in-person events, there are ways to celebrate Black people and culture no matter where you are. To honor the holiday, we’ve rounded up virtual celebrations and destinations to cultivate a greater appreciation of Black history—and to remind us that #BlackLivesMatter.

 

Virtual Events and Programs

2020 Juneteenth Music Festival: DJ Jazzy Jeff will headline this virtual edition of Denver’s annual music festival celebrating the anniversary of the emancipation of slavery in the U.S. Along with a slew of music performances, podcasts, comedy sets, and dance competitions, the event will also feature the sixth annual Dream Big Awards, which honors Colorado community members who have made a difference in racial equity.

 

Alicia Keys and John Legend Juneteenth Verzuz Special

  • Where to watch: Instagram Live
  • Friday, June 19 at 8 p.m. ET

 

In celebration of Juneteenth and Black Music Month, one of Spotify’s flagship playlists, ‘New Music Friday’ will exclusively feature Black artists

  • Friday, June 19

 

National Center for Civil and Human Rights — Atlanta, Georgia

 

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute —Birmingham, Alabama

 

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center — Cincinnati, Ohio

 

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History  — Detroit, Michigan

 

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture — Harlem, New York

 

Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park — Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

 

The Buffalo Soldiers Museum — Houston, Texas

  • Virtual tours on Facebook
  • Reopens on Juneteenth weekend with celebration June 19–20

 

National Civil Rights Museum/Lorraine Motel — Memphis, Tennesee

 

Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater — Miami, Florida

 

Museum of the African Diaspora — San Francisco, California

 

Northwest African American Museum — Seattle, Washington

 

National Museum of African American History and Culture—Washington,D.C.

 

Other Notable Destinations to Visit 

As travel restrictions stat to ease, consider visiting these important institutions — from museums to historical sites to powerful monuments. U.S. cities like Atlanta, Montgomery and Washington, D.C. offer many options for travelers to learn about African American life and history. Below are a few more places to add to your bucket list!

Montgomery, Alabama

Selma, Alabama 

Los Angeles, California 

Oakland, California 

Denver, Colorado 

Macon, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Baltimore, Maryland

Sandy Spring, Maryland

Boston, Massachusetts

Big Rapids, Michigan

Kansas City, Missouri

Harlem, New York

  • Audubon Ballroom
    • The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center
    • Currently closed; open date TBD
  • Apollo Theater 
    • Closed through June 30
  • Langston Hughes House

Lower Manhattan, New York

Greensboro, North Carolina

Memphis, Tennessee

 

Where would you like to visit to learn more about Black history and culture?