This weekend, area residents can celebrate Black culture and community with a variety of virtual and in-person Juneteenth events. The festivities are all free and open to the public and are organized by a coalition of community partners that includes the towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill, the CHCCS Office of Equity and Inclusion, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP, the Marion Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History, and others.
The full slate of events can be found at www.chapelhillcarrborojuneteenth.com and some highlights are listed below:
- Virtual Kickoff featuring Rissi Palmer & Annette Gordon-Reed
Friday, June 18th, 7 p.m.
The weekend gets started with a video premiere featuring Country music superstar Rissi Palmer, Poets Laureate CJ Suitt and Fred Joiner, and local leaders and dignitaries. Immediately following, at 7:30 p.m., Flyleaf Books will welcome Pulitzer Prize-winning scholar Annette Gordon-Reed, in conversation with Dr. William Sturkey about her new book, “On Juneteenth.”
Justice Journey Ride
Saturday, June 19th, 9 a.m.
Meet at Northside Elementary School for a historic bike tour and cruiser ride led by The ReCYCLEry. Ride will be youth-focused and led at a slow pace. Event will include ice cream and T-shirts.
350 Caldwell St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Juneteenth Community Motorcade
Saturday, June 19th, 4 p.m. (Vehicles gather at 3:30 pm)
Hargraves Community Center and Eubanks Road Park & Ride
Decorate your vehicle and drive through historic Black neighborhoods, sharing the Juneteenth spirit! One route will start at Hargraves and progress through the Northside neighborhood, while the other starts at Eubanks Park & Ride and winds through the Rogers Road community. Be sure to tune in to WCHL 97.9 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. for an hour of great music from Black artists.
- NAACP Youth Council Juneteenth Celebration
Saturday, June 19th, 3-6 p.m.
Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St.
The Youth Council has pulled together a great lineup of music, food trucks, poetry, games, speakers, and vendors. Bring your sunscreen, lawn chairs, and water bottles. No alcohol permitted.
- Save the Music Live Performances
Saturday, June 19th, 6-8 p.m.
Grab dinner at one of the Black-owned businesses featured in the NAACP’s #BuyBlackCHC campaign and then stroll Franklin Street and enjoy great music from local Black artists, including XOXOK at Peace & Justice Plaza; Sonny Miles at 140 West Plaza; Sway & Smooth at the Chapel Hill Nine Marker on West Franklin; and Tre Charles at 401 Main in Carrboro.
- Virtual Music and Storytelling Performances
Friday and Saturday
For music lovers, there will be special recorded performances from R&B powerhouse SunQueen Kelcey, Jazz legend Lydia Salett Dudley, Hip-Hop pioneer Kevin “Kaze” Thomas, and Gospel group Souls of Joy. For the kids, there will be storytelling performances from Piedmont Poet Laureate Kelly Starling-Lyons and internationally-renowned storyteller Donna Washington.
Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. The towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro declared Juneteenth a local holiday in 2020, and encourage residents and employers to join in celebrations.
Visit chapelhillcarrborojuneteenth.com for full list of events and details.
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