Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900, Texas. (Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.)

Dating back to 1865, Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Though the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Lincoln in 1863, technically ended slavery, the minimal number of Union soldiers stationed in Texas and the slow pace of news meant that slaves in Texas were unaware that the executive order had been issued and little could be done to implement the order. However, with General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse, substantial numbers of Union troops finally arrived in Texas. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger announced to the public that all slaves had been freed. 

Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo designated Juneteenth — “a day that we should all reflect on” — a holiday for state employees, and said he would propose legislation to make it an official state holiday next year. In the meantime, here’s when and where to observe the occasion in New York City. 


10 a.m. — March from Washington Square Park to 1 Police Plaza.

10 a.m. — Youth-led protest at Tweed Courthouse: a march and rally to end police presence in schools.

11 a.m. — Silent march from the State Building in Harlem on 125th St. to the Seneca Village site in Central Park.

12 p.m. — Speakers, barbecue and music at the Seneca Village site in Central Park.

12 p.m. — Big Black Kickback in Harlem: Games and giveaways at Harlem riverbank, marking the freedom of black people to convene and celebrate. 

1 p.m. — Central Park North (110th St.): speakers, open mic, music and activities. 

1 p.m. — Defund the NYPD March: Meet at Astor Pl., march to City Hall at 1:45 p.m.

1:11 p.m. — Wellness walk for justice at 125th St. and ACP Plaza. Bring a yoga mat.

2 p.m. — Youth United 4 Black Lives at Central Park North Meadow.

2 p.m. — First Annual Juneteenth March on NYC Hall: March beginning at City Hall.

2 p.m. — Non-violent protest starting at Cathedral Parkway and 110th St.


12 p.m. — Protest and vigil at Brooklyn Museum steps, followed by a march to Cadman Plaza (some groups plan to splinter to Prospect Park and Barclays Center)

12 p.m. — Big Black Kickback in Brooklyn: Games and giveaways at Brooklyn Bridge.

1 p.m. — Sidewalk talks at DeKalb Ave. and South Oxford: Public discourse on race, America and the new economic revolution. Music by DJ Will Do.

1 p.m. — Meet at New Lots 3 train, walk to the East New York African Burial Ground. Wear red.

1 p.m. — Freedom Ride, presented by Good Co. Bike Club: Meet at Brooklyn Museum steps, kick off at 1:30 p.m.

2 p.m. — UniteNYC (a coalition of organizers) will arrive at Cadman Plaza, call for all Brooklyn-based marches to converge there.

2 p.m. — Ce-Liberation BBQ and Rally at 155 Bay St..

2 p.m. — When Mothers Cry Peaceful Protest: Start at Nostrand Ave. and Farragut Rd., march to second stop at Eastern Parkway and Utica Ave. (3:30 p.m.), march to third stop at Barclays Center.

2 p.m. — Freedom Actualization Tribe rally at Barclays Center plaza.

2 p.m. — Freedom March NYC “Celebration of Black Joy” at Prospect Park, including spoken word, dance, and musical performance. Organizers will meet at the rally at Brooklyn Museum at noon.

3 p.m. — Defend Black Lives: Juneteenth Jam at Public Plaza (300 Ashland Pl.).

4 p.m. — Memorial for Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and every black life lost to police brutality; meet at Brooklyn Bridge (Tillary St. and Boreum Pl. intersection).

4 p.m. — March and celebration from Irving Square Park, ends with performances. 

4:30 p.m. — Juneteenth Drum Walk: meet at Malcolm X and Macon St., walk and dance to Tompkins Ave. and Macon St.

4:30 p.m. — Celebrate Freedom: Safe space to express and release at Fort Greene Park.

5:15 p.m. — Candlelight vigil honoring victims of police brutality at SUNY Downstate Medical Center (450 Clarkson Ave).

6 p.m. — March sponsored by the Black Education Group at Grand Army Plaza.

6 p.m. — Break the Chains with Love March: Meet at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

6 p.m. — All Black Lives Matter bike protest, starting at the Brooklyn Museum

6:15 p.m. — 5K Run/Bike Ride: Starts at 1368 Fulton St. (Nostrand A/C Stop), ends at Fort Greene Park. Wear red, green or black.


12 p.m. — Car protest at 109-50 Merrick Blvd: Travel to 103rd Precinct and 113th Precinct.

1 p.m. — March from 83rd St. and Roosevelt Ave. to the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Park.

1 p.m. — March beginning at Civil Court (89-17 Sutphin Blvd.).

2 p.m. — NYC Revolutionaries march begins at at the Multiplex Cinema in Jamaica, Queens (159-02 Jamaica Ave., Queens, NY).

3 p.m. — Rally against racism and police brutality at 115th Ave. and 221 St.

4 p.m. — Friends and Family meet-up at Flushing Meadows Park.

The Bronx

3 p.m. — Protest at Soundview Park.

Staten Island

2 p.m. — Peaceful picnic at Clove Lakes Park: Drinks, games and snacks.


1-5 p.m. — Conversation between public and NYPD on Instagram @letstalknypdforum