Tag Archives: Juneteenth

OPINION: A Threat or an Opportunity for Black Community?

by Dr. Ben Danielson


Timing is important. So it is significant that, on the precipice of Juneteenth, Seattle Children’s Hospital decided to close the Yesler location for the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic. This location, in the heart of Seattle’s Central District, had held on through years of gentrification as a Black community resource.

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Seattle Turns Out for Juneteenth Celebrations

by Patheresa Wells


Sunday, June 19, Seattleites participated in Juneteenth events across the city. The holiday has long been celebrated throughout the country, especially among African Americans, though it was not formally recognized as a federal holiday until last year. While often thought of in conjunction with the Emancipation Proclamation freeing enslaved people in 1863, many would not receive news of their freedom until later. Those in Galveston, Texas, did not receive word of emancipation until June 19, 1865, more than two years after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery. Juneteenth started as a way for those enslaved in the Galveston area to celebrate that freedom had finally reached them. 

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OPINION: As We Celebrate Juneteenth, We Must Honor Our Past While Fighting for Our Future

by Derrick Wheeler-Smith


Three years ago, I had the privilege to stand on the shores of Point Comfort (today’s Fort Monroe) in Hampton, Virginia, with hundreds of other African Americans to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first landing of enslaved Africans in English North America. Standing at the Ellis Island of African America 400 years ago, I imagined what their perilous landing must’ve been like. What I know for sure is that their presence profoundly impacted the cultural manifest of America’s past, yet their descendants remain subject to socioeconomic and political disparities today.

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OPINION: What Juneteenth Means to a Black Woman Labor Leader

Celebrating our resilience in the ongoing fight for economic, racial justice.

by April Sims


Washington will recognize Juneteenth as an official State holiday for the first time this year. This increased recognition of Freedom Day — long celebrated by Black Americans coast to coast — provides an opportunity for Black people to share our resilient history, the country’s history, with our broader community. 

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Juneteenth 2022: A Guide to Celebrating in the South End

by Amanda Ong


Juneteenth has been celebrated for over a century and a half by African Americans as the day in 1865 when news reached across the country that slavery was abolished. Though the holiday has only been recognized by the state and federal government since 2021, Seattle communities have already been celebrating for years.

The Emerald has rounded up Juneteenth events from across the South End, listed here in chronological order.

Keep an eye on this guide for possible updates!

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PHOTO ESSAY: South End Marks First Federal Juneteenth With Celebration and Joy

by Susan Fried, Ronnie Estoque, and Maile Anderson


From marching, dance, and roller skating, to meditation, music, and a restaurant homecoming, South Seattle marked the first federally recognized Juneteenth 2021 with beautiful spirit and joy. Emerald photographers hit the streets on Saturday to capture some of the many happenings around the South End. Among them: In the morning, “No Healing, No Peace!” A Walking Meditation for Black Liberation was held at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park and Jackson’s Catfish Corner celebrated their grand opening and return to the Central District. In the afternoon, It Takes a Village Juneteenth Festival took place in Othello Park while KCEN’s annual Juneteenth Freedom Celebration marched from 22nd Avenue and Madison Street to Jimi Hendrix Park. Black Girls Roller Skate hosted a Juneteenth roller skating party at Judkins Park and, in the evening, Wa Na Wari wrapped up the day at their Juneteenth Outdoor Celebration with live music.

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The Morning Update Show — 6/21/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Monday, June 21

Jackson’s Catfish Corner Is Open for Business! | Juneteenth in Review | Roll Around Seatown

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FICTION: Freedom Spring

by Kathya Alexander


The daffodils dance in the front yard like tornadoes. Red roses climb, wild, to the roof of our house. This Mother’s Day is alive with hope and with morning. ‘Cept for the slash that is running cross my Mama mouth. 

She kneading the dough for the biscuits for breakfast. She got the radio on, tune to WOKJ. That’s the radio station where my brother, Quint, is a DJ. They talking ‘bout the Freedom Riders, colored folks and whites riding buses down South from Washington D.C. to New Orleans. All of them is students. My Mama say, “This how these chir’en choose to spend they spring vacation? They ought to be home with they mamas.” Then she whip the dough like it’s the thing made her mad.

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A History of Juneteenth

by Samira George

(This article was originally published by Real Change and has been reprinted with permission.)


The Establishment

Also called Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, and Emancipation Day, June 19 has come to commemorate the end of U.S. slavery and is most known as Juneteenth.

After President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, it took several years for enslavement to end in the most remote Confederate state, Texas.

It is a lesser-known fact that the emancipation applied only to the Confederate states — the 11 states that seceded from the Union in a states’ rights plea to ensure they could keep Black people as slaves.

The last place in the Confederacy still enslaving Black people was Galveston, Texas, where Confederate soldiers held a firm grip. Some historians theorize that the news of emancipation was either withheld or Confederate soldiers with guns forced continued enslavement.

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers brought the news to enslaved Black Texans that they could go free. Newly freed Black Americans celebrated their liberation on that very June 19 in 1865. Since that day, the tradition has grown and includes Black community gatherings and political rallies.

Yet, while Juneteenth is a major historical event in African American history, it has largely been excluded from classroom history books and the American education system as a whole.

“We’re still feeling the after effects of Black codes, Jim Crow, and exclusionary laws. That hasn’t changed for us,” Washington State Rep. Melanie Morgan said. “I’m excited that this will be a holiday that will start educating people and educating our youth.”

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The Morning Update Show — 6/18/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Friday, June 18

LIVE — Doc Wilson of Peace Peloton | LIVE — Katoya Palmer of YMCA | Juneteenth Now a National Holiday | Local Juneteenth Events Preview | Tiny House Village in Skyway | #FeelGoodFriday

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