Back to What We Think

Resources for celebrating Juneteenth

As you know, this coming Monday marks Juneteenth. Also known as “Emancipation Day” or the “Day of Freedom,” it is both a somber and celebratory day to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation and Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery.

The day itself harks back to June 19th 1866 and Galveston, Texas, when celebrations took place to mark the one year anniversary of enslaved African Americans in the state learning of their freedom, the last slaves to be emancipated in the United States.

In recognition of Juneteenth, we’ve pulled together a few things you can do to mark the occasion, to learn more, and to reflect.

If you’re looking for something to read

National Museum of African American History & Culture – Juneteenth Reading List

Consider purchasing from a small independent bookstore.

If you’re looking for something to listen to

Louder Than A Riot – From NPR

Rhyme and punishment go hand in hand in America. Louder Than A Riot reveals the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration. From Bobby Shmurda to Nipsey Hussle, each episode explores an artist’s story to examine a different aspect of the criminal justice system that disproportionately impacts Black America. 

If you’re looking for something to jam to 

“Freedom Songs” – Apple Music

Apple Music celebrates Juneteenth 2023 with Freedom Songs, a collection of exclusively commissioned new songs from Black creatives like Elena Pinderhughes, Kranium, Lupe Fiasco, Alex Isley, 6LACK, and Brittney Spencer, to name a few. Some have contributed original compositions, while others have chosen to cover existing songs that speak to the spirit of the holiday. Listen to the stories their selections tell as we celebrate Juneteenth and the invaluable legacy of Black music.

If you’re looking for something to watch (for fun and to learn)

Ms. Juneteenth – Streaming on BET+

Miss Juneteenth is a 2020 American drama film written and directed by Channing Godfrey Peoples and starring Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, and Alexis Chikaeze. The plot follows a single mom and former teen beauty queen who enters her daughter into the local Miss Juneteenth pageant. The film premiered at Sundance in January 2020, and was released via video on demand on June 19, 2020, coinciding with the 155th anniversary of the historically Black holiday which originated in the south eastern United States.

The film received critical acclaim. It received accolades from South by Southwest, the BlackStar Film Festival, and the National Board of Review. For the role, Nicole Beharie received a Gotham Award for Best Actress.

Black-ish – (Season 4 Episode 1) Juneteenth – Streaming on Hulu

Black-ish is one of the greatest primetime television shows of all time. What made Black-ish so special was its ability to teach and convey lessons through the lens of humor and evoke self-reflection. One of those special moments was the episode Kenya Barris and the team created for Juneteenth.

Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches – HBO

While his legacy is undeniable as an author and orator, Frederick Douglass’ provocative speeches were never recorded. Produced by acclaimed historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and directed by Julia Marchese, Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches aims to bring the legendary abolitionist’s words to life, using the talents of Denzel Whitaker, Colman Domingo, Nicole Beharie, Andre Holland, Jonathan Majors, and Jeffrey Wright. Each speech is representative of a different era within the 19th century, and in turn, reflects Douglass’ evolving political philosophy. Available on HBO Max and HBO On Demand.

If you’re looking for a place to eat or order from

Visit EatOkra and find a Black-owned restaurant near you

EatOkra is the go-to app for discovering Black-owned restaurants. Their mission? To connect foodies to Black restaurants and culinary events while amplifying the dining experience for and by Black communities.

If you’re looking for an event to attend (NYC based)

A few local news articles with a wide variety of events in every corner of the city.

Events in Uptown Manhatten

Events to celebrate Juneteenth across Manhattan

Pride + Juneteenth – Center the Culture: A Queer Juneteenth Block Party

Not leaving your couch or not based in NYC? Here is an event from earlier in the week at the White House. Many of the performers are fresh off the Tony Awards stage!