Juneteenth Celebrations

Juneteenth is a celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. This happened later than many realize, over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Much like the actual ending of slavery, the effects of the imprisonment of Black people have gone on much longer than many are aware, manifesting in racism in housing, education and policing. And this year, as police killings of Black people come to public attention again, the importance of Juneteenth is magnified. Here are some events going on in Louisville this week to commemorate the anniversary. 

The CookOut  |  Online
Search Facebook  |  Free  |  1 p.m.
KMF, a Louisville neofunk and soulhop band, is celebrating Juneteenth with Black music. The band is planning virtual performances, as well as live pop-ups, which have yet to be announced. Events include the KickOff Concert and Kickback Karaoke. 

Russell Juneteenth  |  1718 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.  |  Search Facebook
Free  |  2-5 p.m.
The Russell neighborhood’s Juneteenth celebration will include food, art activites and music. Wear a mask, bring chairs and blankets and practice social distancing, organizers ask.

Becoming a Better Ancestor Juneteenth Celebration  |  Jefferson Square Park
301 S. Sixth St.  |  Donations accepted  |  4-9 p.m.
Jefferson Square has been the starting point for Louisville’s downtown protests, but on Juneteenth it becomes a celebration zone with performers, vendors and free food and drink. And it’s a fundraiser for the Roots101: African American Museum. 

Juneteenth: Why We Celebrate  |  Facebook Live  |  Search Facebook  |  Free  |  4-5 p.m.
For an all-virtual celebration, Actors Theatre Direct presents a Juneteenth event featuring Black leaders: District 4 council candidate and musician Jecorey Arthur; President of Simmons College and pastor, the Rev. Kevin Cosby; Louisville Central Community Center CEO and President Kevin Fields; gospel musician Pat Mathison; and state Sen. Gerald Neal. 

Juneteenth Celebration Gathering  |  Coles Place Events  |  2928 W. Kentucky St.
Free  |  5-11 p.m.
This community Juneteenth gathering features music, Black vendors, food trucks, poetry
and spoken word, fireworks, bounce houses and face painting.

Phresh Phix: A Juneteenth Celebration of Beauty, Bravery and Blackity Black Blackness  |  Online  |  Donations accepted  |  Time to be announced
Prince Crittenden of BO$$ (Blacks Organizing Strategic Success) presents a virtual Juneteenth celebration featuring a stacked lineup of local Black artists, including Hannah L. Drake, Jecorey Arthur, Otis Junior, Scott T. Smith and more. The show will premiere on BO$$’s new website, which launches on Friday. Keep an eye on Crittenden and BO$$’s social media pages for a start time. 

Friday, June 19