MoMI will present three groundbreaking films including Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust (3:30pm), Channing Godfrey Peoples’s Miss Juneteenth (1pm), and Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (6pm). Miss Juneteenth will be preceded by a selection of short works by local students relating to Black history in Queens.
Juneteenth has been celebrated by Black Americans since the late 1800s, but last year, the holiday garnered renewed attention as Black Lives Matter demonstrators called (and still call) for meaningful policy changes following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers.
For the first time last year, New York City had its first-ever Juneteenth March on City Hall, and Juneteenth became an official NYC and New York State holiday.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is the celebration and commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers brought news to Galveston, Texas that the war was over and slaves were free (this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.) The celebration was coined "Juneteenth" and became a time for praying and for gathering with family. It became massively celebrated in Texas decades later, with many former slaves and descendants making an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston on this date, according to Juneteenth.com.
When does it happen this year?
June 19 is on Saturday this year.
How is it celebrated?
The day, which still isn't an official national holiday, has been celebrated more in Southern states with rodeos, fishing, barbecuing and baseball, with a focus on education and self improvement.
Las year, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order making it a holiday for state employees and promised to advance legislation to make it an official state holiday.
New York City has so many ways to celebrate this year. Scroll down to see what these are.