Juneteenth 2024 Celebrations @ Northwest African American Museum

The new 4th of July 🇺🇸

Juneteenth, a day of immense historical significance held on June 19th, was officially recognized as a federal holiday in 2021. However, its roots trace back to 1865 when the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached Texas, freeing the enslaved after three and a half years. This day, celebrated by the descendants of the enslaved, holds a special place in our hearts, symbolizing resilience and freedom. As a child growing up in Oklahoma in the ’80s, Juneteenth was the highlight of summer. Held in the park on the Black side of town known as “The Ville,” the then-unofficial holiday was always a vibrant celebration of our heritage. 

Back in the day, those who participated in the Great Migration brought the celebration to places like the Pacific Northwest. Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) held its first official event honoring the holiday in 2021 with a youth night, artist collective, and jamboree. The event has grown each year, as the multi-day event continues to recognize and center Black art, culture, and heritage.

In its fourth year, NAAM’s Juneteenth 2024 is three days of joy, connection, and tradition.

📆 Saturday, June 15th
🕓 10 am – 5 pm
📍 Judkins Skatepark: 2161 S Judkins St, Seattle

This annual Juneteenth party is a chance to do the ELECTRIC SLIDE TO SOUL MUSIC on skates, which will be available for rent. Multiple Black-owned food trucks, as well as community and product vendors, will be onsite. And, of course, the tunes will be BLASTING. Bring skates or rent some there, and bring the whole family for the fun. 

📆 Sunday, June 16th
🕓 10 am – 5 pm
📍 Northwest African American Museum: 2300 South Massachusetts St, Seattle

Come to the museum for a free admission community day focused on Fatherhood. Three movies will be playing as part of the Juneteenth Film Festival. There will be an interactive storytime for the kids. Food trucks serving up snacks. Plus, jazz band Goody Bagg will be providing Juneteenth Jams. And all fathers will get a special Father’s Day gift!

📆 Wednesday, June 19th
🕓 10 am – 3 pm
📍 Northwest African American Museum: 2300 South Massachusetts St, Seattle

Capping it all off is the day the holiday is named after (JUNE+NINETEENTH=JUNETEENTH). Visit NAAM for another free admission day to see two new exhibits. Explore the exhibits: Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See, which honors the bravery of Emmett Till’s mother and his life, and Interrupting Privilege, a thought-provoking exhibit centered around the question, “Tell me about the first time you remember experiencing discrimination?”

Juneteenth has been called our country’s true independence day—the “new 4th of July.” Ultimately, the holiday is one that every American should honor as a day that acknowledges this great country has been built on the oppression of others. It’s now more vibrant because of the contributions of Black Americans. 

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Patheresa Wells

Patheresa Wells is a Black/Persian, Pansexual, Polyamorous Poet (so many Ps) and writer living in Seatac. An aspiring comic, you can catch her cracking jokes at open mics around the area. In her free time, she likes to imagine what she’d do with free time and feed her backyard crows cuz they’re silly. Follow her on Twitter @PatheresaWells.