The city is buzzing, the block is hot, because it’s almost Juneteenth! Chicago sure seems ready to celebrate, and Governor Pritzker agrees. He recently signed an order to have the state of Illinois formally recognize Juneteenth as a holiday, and national steps by President Biden followed suit. June 19th is the annual date that we celebrate the emancipation of Black slaves from the state of Texas back in 1865, marking the true end of legal enslavement almost two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. This spirit of celebration is one of liberation and joy for the Black community, as well as remembrance. True Star has gathered a comprehensive guide of things to do and places to be in Chicago this Juneteenth!
Of course, we’re in the middle of the action by fundraising for our Black owned youth organization this Juneteenth. Come out and celebrate Black music, Black dollars, and Black culture by attending the Juneteenth Block Party at 49th and Indiana in Bronzeville. Donations will help True Star reach a $10,000 goal to provide summer jobs for Chicago’s youth. Visit here to get all the deets abou this event that’s helping us #BuildTheCrib. Check it out and spread the word! Oh, and if you’re looking for another way to help support True Star click here.
The Garfield Park Military Honors Festival is one of many notable events to honor Black citizens who have served or currently serve in the USA Military. This free Juneteenth-specific event will be hosted at Garfield Park Gold Dome at 100 North Central Park Avenue beginning at 2:00 p.m. Veterans and families are welcome to enjoy food, music, the Juneteenth flag raising and networking for the community.
Speaking of beautiful music, a free Juneteenth Jazz Celebration will be held at New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, 4301 W. Washington Blvd. Beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, this event will honor historian and educator Haki R. Madhubuti; performances by Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few will also be featured. This is sure to be an evening of education and entertainment for the whole family or teens looking for a night out.
If you’re going to be South on Saturday, take some time to visit The Lemonade Land. This pop-up market, located at 6700 South Dorchester Avenue from 2:00-6:00 p.m., showcases Black owned businesses from the city’s South Side.
To center local businesses and live it up for the night, visit the Harold Washington Cultural Center on 2701 S. Martin Luther King Dr. The Cultural Center is pairing with M.A.D.D. Rhythms and Bronzeville vendors for a day of celebration including dance, DJ sets and music, food, workshops, raffles, art and children’s activities for various ages! Beginning 1:00 p.m. on June 19 with free admission all day, visit maddrhythms.com for more info.
To wind down a bit and get in tune with yourself, check out the exclusive Juneteenth yoga class being held at Yoga Six at 1618 E. 53rd. This Black owned studio will ensure that proceeds go to a social justice nonprofit or the DuSable Museum of African American History. The class begins at 10 a.m. on June 20th, and a suggested $10 donation is recommended for the cause. Find out more at yogasix.com.
Hopefully this guide offered some insight to lots of vibrant energy and some of the celebrations happening in the city this weekend. In years to come we hope to see this nation embrace Black liberation, joy and excellence as it should be. This year’s Juneteenth is just the beginning! Whether you’re dancing the night away or participating in rest, enjoy your Juneteenth!
By Leah Ollie, Incoming Freshman at Butler University