On June 19, 1865, Union troops marched into Galveston Bay, Texas to announce to enslaved people that they were free. This day came to be known as Juneteenth by the newly freed people of Texas and has been celebrated annually ever since as a commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States.

This year, the celebration of Juneteenth takes on added significance. On Thursday, President Joe Biden established June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a U.S. federal holiday. Juneteenth was also recognized as an official New York state public holiday last year.

This weekend, various events throughout New York City will mark Juneteenth, and celebrate Black history and culture. Here is a partial list. 

12th Annual Juneteenth NYC Festival
All weekend

To celebrate the Black community, the 12th Annual Juneteenth NYC Festival is hosting three days of events starting Friday, both online and in person. According to organizers, activities will emphasize wellness and include artistic performances, yoga practice, cooking, and holistic medicine practices. The summit is free and open to the public. For more information, click here.   

Brooklyn Resists at the Center for Brooklyn History
Opens Saturday, June 19, 3 p.m., Center for Brooklyn History, 128 Pierrepont Street

Starting on Juneteenth and running all the way through September 30, 2021, Brooklyn Resists, a public history project and outdoor exhibition at the Center for Brooklyn History, will be on display. According to its organizers, the exhibition tells the stories of Black Brooklynites — their responses to systemic racial injustices, how they have built resilience and overcame those systems, and how current protests are tied to those of the past. For more about the exhibit, click here

I Dream A Dream That Dreams Back at Me: A Juneteenth Celebration
Saturday, June 19 at 7 p.m., Lincoln Center

In celebration of Juneteenth, Lincoln Center will be hosting an experimental event called I Dream A Dream That Dreams Back at Me by award-winning poet and artist Carl Hancock Rux. The event will take place across various parts of the Lincoln Center campus. Organizers say it is intended to honor Black excellence and to emphasize America’s continued battle to reach greater equity. For ticketing information and COVID-19 screening requirements, click here

The Unsung Collective at the Oculus, World Trade Center 
Saturday, June 19, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

The Unsung Collective, a community-based music collective committed to celebrating stories that revolve around the Black experience, will perform four classical music pieces by Black composers as a means of commemorating Juneteenth. Director Tyrone Clinton Jr. will lead his ensemble through a classical music performance that narrates and portrays historical stories that connect to the present day. Later on, from 5 p.m. to midnight, the Oculus will light up in red, black and green to celebrate and honor Black culture.

Central Park Conservancy Guided Tours of Seneca Village
Saturday, June 19 and Sunday, June 20; times vary

The Central Park Conservancy has arranged two days of programming surrounding Seneca Village, an area in what is now Central Park that was home to the largest community of African American property owners in pre-Civil War New York City. Throughout the weekend, the conservancy will offer tours of the village both online and in person. To read more about the tours, click here.

Meals as Collective Memory
Saturday, June 19, 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m., Weeksville Heritage Center

Meals as Collective Memory is a free interactive event that will include food demonstrations, a panel discussion, and a one-on-one conversation with culinary historian Dr. Jessica B. Harris to explore the comfort of Black cuisine from across the diaspora. To read more about this event, click here

March for Justice, Solidarity and Love
Saturday, June 19, 1 p.m.-1:30 p.m., start point at Brooklyn Bridge Park 

A march that organizers say aims to showcase that all races and ethnicities can come together to promote humanity and overcome white supremacy will take place Saturday afternoon. The march will start at Brooklyn Bridge Park and will end at City Hall in Manhattan. To learn more about the march, click here