Tag Archives: Juneteenth

King County Council Passes $86 Million in Emergency Funding, Looks to Future Legislation To Make Juneteenth a Holiday For County Employees

by Carolyn Bick


Following a unanimous vote at a meeting on June 23, King County Council has approved a third round of emergency funding to the tune of $86 million. Council Chair Claudia Balducci also said that legislation to make Juneteenth a holiday for King County employees will be introduced at a future meeting.

The emergency funding money, which will come from the county’s general fund, will provide support for several programs throughout the county meant to combat both the novel coronavirus and racism, which the council formally recognized as a public health crisis on June 18.

Continue reading King County Council Passes $86 Million in Emergency Funding, Looks to Future Legislation To Make Juneteenth a Holiday For County Employees

Photo Essay: Juneteenth Celebration Honors Fight for Liberation

by Carolyn Bick, Susan Fried, Marcus Harrison Green


An estimated 8,000 demonstrators turned out for Friday’s Juneteenth Freedom March hosted by King County Equity Now. The march commenced from 23rd and Union in the Central District, near the Beauty salon of DeCharlene Williams, the Seattle businesswoman credited with organizing the first official Juneteenth Celebrations in Seattle. Demonstrators filled the streets — carrying signs declaring Black Lives Matter, and demanding an end to racism and police brutality. The march finished at Jimi Hendrix Park, adjacent to the Northwest African American Museum, where demonstrators were treated to music, speeches, vendors, and a salute to Black graduates. Continue reading Photo Essay: Juneteenth Celebration Honors Fight for Liberation

Juneteenth: Joy is Not the Vinyl. It’s the Record Player

Seattleites reflect on freedom, resistance and joy to honor the day liberation from slavery finally arrived, over two years after Emancipation.

by Anastacia-Reneé


Once we recognize what it is we are feeling, once we recognize we can feel deeply, love deeply, can feel joy, then we will demand that all parts of our lives produce that kind of joy.

— Audre Lorde

My Joy is too Big to be a Hashtag

— Anonymous

It’s no wonder in horrific and hopeful awake-o-lyptic times such as these that very often I hear the layered voices of brilliant people I love saying that small and large things “give them life,” that small and large things are being magnified and multiplied as examples of “Black joy.” Continue reading Juneteenth: Joy is Not the Vinyl. It’s the Record Player

Juneteenth: The Legacy Work of Resistance and Liberation

Seattleites reflect on freedom, resistance and joy to honor the day liberation from slavery finally arrived, over two years after Emancipation.

by Inye Wokoma


In many ways the celebration of Juneteenth is a marker, a symbolic placeholder that allows Black America to focus on what has been a constant in our existence prior to and after June 19, 1865 — the ongoing struggle for our liberation. It is a moment to hold up an aspect of our reality that is distinct from all other American citizens, except perhaps our First Nations kin. Our lives are almost entirely defined by the perpetual fight against white supremacist systems and a psychic and cultural environment saturated with what the writer and therapist Resmaa Menakem calls “white body supremacy.” Juneteenth is an opportunity to celebrate our continued resilience and resistance to ongoing attacks on our humanity. Continue reading Juneteenth: The Legacy Work of Resistance and Liberation

Juneteenth: Joy is a Revolutionary Act

Seattleites reflect on freedom, resistance and joy to honor the day liberation from slavery finally arrived, over two years after Emancipation.

by Catherine Harris-White aka SassyBlack


I didn’t grow up celebrating Juneteenth. It wasn’t until I was 10 years old, fresh to Seattle, that I learned about this day of liberation. At a young age, through my mother’s work, I spent time doing anti-racist organizing as part of Youth Undoing Institutionalized Racism. The Black folx I interacted with there would teach me about their annual celebrations. Although empowering, I was saddened by the lengths that slave owners went to continuously hold my people down. It was another confirmation that this country was built on the tricking and sabotage of Black people. It pushed me to learn more about my history. Continue reading Juneteenth: Joy is a Revolutionary Act

Juneteenth: On police Violence and Unexplained Loss

Seattleites reflect on freedom, resistance and joy to honor the day liberation from slavery finally arrived, over two years after Emancipation.

by Vivian Phillips


My earliest recollection of anything to do with police was the suspicious death of an uncle while he was in police custody in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. I was 5 years old. I recall bowed heads and low conversation among my mother, her brothers and my grandfather. I was left to stay with granddaddy for a few days after, and his small three-room house felt shrunken by the darkness in his eyes. Continue reading Juneteenth: On police Violence and Unexplained Loss

Juneteenth: The Next Wave of Emancipation

Seattleites reflect on freedom, resistance and joy to honor the day liberation from slavery finally arrived, over two years after Emancipation.

by Reagan Jackson


We can’t talk about Juneteenth without discussing freedom. But what do we mean when we use that word? How can we strive for something we can’t define?

“Freedom for me is the ability to commit to my soul’s purpose and live it,” said artist, educator and medicine maker Cristina Orbe. “When I’m in freedom, it’s like singing in a choir where you guys all hit the chord together and there’s a resonance and in the moment you feel so connected to everyone you’re singing with and you feel like everything is possible because it just rings with this tone, and you realize how much more is happening in the world than you really can sense. It’s those moments of complete congruence, that’s when I really feel free.” Continue reading Juneteenth: The Next Wave of Emancipation

Juneteenth: A Day That Contains Multitudes

Seattleites reflect on freedom, resistance and joy to honor the day liberation from slavery finally arrived, over two years after Emancipation

by Ben Danielson


Juneteenth is inextricably connected to the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic that I oversee. I am happy to be celebrating my 21st Juneteenth with the clinic today. Sights, aromas and sounds make up the triple-stranded foundation of this tradition. The sights of gentle smiles, of scores of brown faces in every hue, of generations interlacing, of long tables of generous food offerings. The aromas of a favored traditional family dish, a closely guarded secret barbecue rub, a side that sends you back to your childhood. The sounds of all-too-infrequent reunions, of fervent joyful conversation over plates of food, of solemn words describing the mournful and joyful complexity of this event, of the inspiring syncopation of voices – both talented and just plain sincere – belting out the lines of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Continue reading Juneteenth: A Day That Contains Multitudes

Juneteenth: A Cautionary Tale

Seattleites reflect on freedom, resistance and joy to honor the day liberation from slavery finally arrived, over two years after Emancipation.

by Lola Peters


I must have been 8 or 9 the first time I heard about it. My parents were hosting a backyard barbecue for friends and someone mentioned it was Juneteenth. I had to ask my father what the word meant, and he laughingly explained it was a contraction for June 19th, 1865, the date enslaved people of African descent in Texas were told that the U.S. government had freed them 2½ earlier. As he and his friends chatted about it, I realized it was a cautionary tale. My young mind filled with questions. Continue reading Juneteenth: A Cautionary Tale

Juneteenth 2020 in Seattle — A Guide to Local Events

by Emerald Staff


The Emerald rounded up local Juneteenth events so you and yours can easily find ways to participate both in person and virtually in celebrations, marches, live streams, talks, activities for children, and more!
Juneteenth flag (this version by Mike Tré), licensed by Creative Commons, Wikimedia Commons author: Saturnsorbit.

Juneteenth—Fri., June 19:

Juneteenth Blackout at the CHOP

“We’re blacking out CHOP … the viral death of black bodies was the catalyst for this current movement and we need to make sure we remain focused. This means both policy and systemic change to our systems and healing space for black people.

“So that’s exactly what we’re creating. A series of events in which we center black healing and community.

“What we need from our non-black allies are donations of money and supplies and the willingness to support by quietly protecting sacred space for black healing. We need allies on the outskirts who are willing to be a physical barrier of protection and to peacefully deter potential interruptions.” Read full schedule of events in Facebook event details.

Donations of supplies, funds, and volunteer bodies on the ground at the event are requested from the organizers. Read event details for more on this and donate funds here.

Time: 8 a.m.–8 p.m.
Where: CHOP — 1635 11th Ave (Cal Anderson Park)
Cost: Free to attend

Continue reading Juneteenth 2020 in Seattle — A Guide to Local Events