June is a time for many things — Pride Month, the start of summer, Father’s Day, and Juneteenth, which is now a federal holiday. It is important to remember the history behind Juneteenth in both New Jersey and beyond through discussions and Juneteenth events. Essex County is set to host numerous events to celebrate and commemorate the freedom fought for and won so many years ago. We have a list of events, fairs, readings, walks, and more to celebrate Juneteenth in Essex County, New Jersey.
This is a growing list. If you have an event to add, send us an email at email@example.com.
History of Juneteenth
Juneteenth may be the latest federal holiday added to the American calendar, but its roots date back to 1865. The holiday gets its name from the blending of the two words in the date, “June” and “Nineteenth,” and it honors the emancipation of enslaved Africans here in the United States. Slaves were freed country-wide in January 1863. However, news and enforcement of freedom relied heavily on the government structure and Union Troop presence per state. Texas was the furthest state from the proclamation, having very little Union presence and a blatant opposition to freeing slaves. As such, it was the last of the states to inform slaves they were free.
While Black Americans have faced oppression since their unwarranted arrival here in the U.S, June 19th marks a day of freedom and independence. In many communities, this day has been celebrated for decades. Now, the entire country is invited to join in to celebrate Black culture, learn about the history, and understand the past and current struggles of this race.
Read More: Pride Month Events 2022 in Essex County
Take Home Craft: Juneteenth Windsock | 10 Robert H Harp Drive, Livingston
June 13th | 10AM
Hosted by the Livingston Public Library, children ages 2 to 5 years old can stop by the Children’s Desk and pick up a take-home Juneteenth craft while supplies last. Learn more here.
PSEG True Diversity Series Presents Juneteenth: Developing Black Wealth with NJPAC | Online
June 13th | 7PM
This panel will be held at virtually and requires registration. I twill discuss ways to enhance the economic vitality of Black communities on multiple fronts, including job creation, financial literacy, wealth building, financial inclusion and economic integration. Learn more here.
Juneteenth: A Celebration of Resistance at Verona Public Library | 17 Gould Street, Verona
June 16th | 12PM
This event will be held at 17 Gould Street in Verona. Learn more here.
Juneteenth Flag Raising | 66 Main Street, West Orange
June 16th | 5PM
This ceremony is just one event of a multi-day Juneteenth celebration experience in West Orange. It will include remarks from distinguished guests, student performances, and food trucks. Click here for more info on this event.
Juneteenth Community Paint + Sip | Spiotta Park, 20-32 Village Plaza, South Orange
June 17th | 5PM – 7:30PM
The city of South Orange is inviting guests to come paint, sip, and dance all while making history. Each participant will be guided by painting experts to craft a part of a larger mural celebrating Juneteenth. Music will be provided by DJ Roc and all craft supplies will be available. This event culminates on June 19th with the unveiling of the unique mural from 2PM – 4PM. Learn more about the event here.
Juneteenth Film Screening at Montclair Public Library | 50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair
June 17th | 2PM – 4:30PM
Watch the television adaptation of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman at this virtual event. Learn more here.
Juneteenth Pop-Up Shop | 70 City Hall Plaza, East Orange
June 17th | 5:30PM – 10:30PM
This is a celebration of Black-owned businesses. The first annual Juneteenth Pop-Up Shop is set to start at 5:30PM at City Hall in East Orange. Vendors are asked to arrive by 5PM. There will be a live DJ and a chance to shop all 15 businesses. Learn more about this event here.
Juneteenth Community Picnic at MCPK | 49 Orange Road, Montclair
June 17th | 11AM – 1PM
Grab a blanket and come out to enjoy performances, food, and fun activities for kids. This outdoor event will take place on the Montclair Community PreK playground at 49 Orange Road in Montclair. Click here to learn more.
Community Day: Juneteenth | 49 Washington Street, Newark
June 18th | 12PM – 5PM
The Harriet Tubman Monument in Newark, NJ will be honored on Juneteenth weekend at the Community Day. This outdoor festival will feature performers, dancers, art, and speakers. Guests will have an opportunity to decorate ceramic tiles that will later be integrated into the monument. Availability to participate is limited. Admission to the Newark Museum of Art will be free all day. Learn more about the event here.
Juneteenth in Memorial Park | 580 Valley Street, Maplewood
June 18th | 5PM- 9PM
This event includes readings, performances, and more, and it will be held at Maplewood Memorial Park, 580 Valley Street in Maplewood. Learn more here.
For the Love of Art: A Juneteenth Celebration of Joy + Justice at Montclair Art Museum | 3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair
June 18th + June 19th
This celebration and fundraiser will be held at 3 South Mountain Avenue in Montclair. Learn more here.
Juneteenth Celebration at Montclair Brewery | 101 Walnut Street, Montclair
June 18th + June 19th
Live music, art showcases, and soul food at 101 Walnut Street in Montclair. Learn more here.
Juneteenth – Powerful Multimedia Art Exhibition Shines A Light on the Histories of Women of Color Hosted by Project for Empty Space | 800 Broad Street, Newark
June 18th | 12PM – 3PM
Enjoy this powerful exhibition along with adult beverages and snacks. This event will be held at 800 Broad Street in Newark. Learn more here.
Bloomfield Juneteenth Celebration | Glenwood Avenue, Bloomfield
June 18th | 12PM – 6PM
The city of Bloomfield is ready to celebrate Juneteenth. The 2nd annual festival will be a celebration of Black-owned businesses in the area and a day of fun. Live dance instruction, interpretation service, and an homage to Madame C. J. Walker are just a few events that will make up the festivities. Learn more about the event here.
Juneteenth Day Party | 415 Halsey Street, Newark
June 18th | 2PM – 8PM
Celebrate Juneteenth with the Chosen Millennials and the community at this Juneteenth Day Party. Tickets are $30 and include mimosas from 2PM – 5PM. The full event runs through 8PM. Learn more about the event here.
See More: A List of Black-Owned Businesses to Support in Montclair + Bloomfield
Juneteenth Open Mic, Music, + Poetry | Newark (Virtual)
June 18th | 3PM
Local vendors and those looking to support Black businesses and art are invited to this event. Experience poetry and music or even participate in the open mic starting at 3PM. Tickets to this event are $5. Learn more about the event here.
Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom | 523 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood
June 19th | 1PM – 5PM
The Durand-Hedden House + Garden Association and the South Orange Maplewood Community Coalition on Race will once again co-host Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom at Durand-Hedden House + Garden and the surrounding Grasmere Park. This will be an afternoon of fun and learning, including historical reenactors, musicians, children’s activities, food, and an exhibit on The History of Slavery in New Jersey. Registration is required, and you can register here.
Sharon Dennis Wyeth + Kim Holt, Juneteenth Conversation Hosted by Watchung Booksellers | 54 Fairfield Street, Montclair
June 19th | 9AM – 11PM
Juneteenth: Our Day of Freedom will be discussed at this virtual event. Learn more here.
Guided House Tour: Eyewitness to Black History at Montclair History Center | 110 Orange Road, Montclair
June 19th | 12PM – 3PM
Explore 200 years of Black history in Montclair and New Jersey at Crane House + Historic YMCA at 110 Orange Road in Montclair. Learn more here.
Juneteenth Art Project at SOPAC | One SOPAC Way, South Orange
June 19th | 2PM – 4PM
Celebrate the grand unveiling of this art project at One SOPAC Way in South Orange. Learn more here.