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Juneteenth celebrations around the area

We have compiled a list of events for community members leading up to and on Juneteenth, which will be held on Monday, June 19.

The Bronzeville Children’s Museum will host its 21st Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 17, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Museum is located at 9301 S. Stony Island Ave.; cost $5, members free.

Juneteenth Back to Black Magic Showcase

Young Urban Artists Celebrate Freedom Day Through Modern Dance

Black Magic Showcase will debut its first Juneteenth show on June 17 at Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, 700 E. Oakwood Blvd., from 11:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The highly anticipated Juneteenth showcase will use modern urban dance and performing arts to captivate the audience while taking the journey of how major milestones altered history in America and affected African Americans.

The consciously crafted Girls Like Me Project Inc.-sponsored event will take the audience through the “royalty” stages of Africans in Africa.

This part of the performance will enlighten the audience on how Africans were kings and queens in Africa. Through solos and group performances, the audience will be filled with emotions through “slavery.” Dance artists will interpret the cruelty of slavery and its effects on Africans in America. We will feel the raw emotions of
“segregation” in the nation. They will lead into the “present day,” mixed with police brutality and missing bodies of African Americans.

“We want the audience to enjoy our performance, but we want them to learn what African Americans have been through and survived all of these life-changing stages that affected the world but still prevailed,” said Black Magic founder and creative director, Englewood resident and art-ivist Maya Unique. “Juneteenth is a day of celebration for our ancestors, but we will still have to overcome the challenges of today.”

The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center, 740 E. 56th Place, presents the Du’s 3rd Annual Juneteenth Community BBQ to be held on June 19 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. A special tribute celebration for the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop will be held.

The event is free. Visit for more information.

National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum to host its 11th Annual “JUNETEENTH” Community Recommitment Celebration – “Paint the Hood Orange” Edition Violence Prevention event includes parade, block party and youth basketball championship tournament; more than 500 youth have already signed up for tournament Sponsored by Wintrust.

The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum (NAPRPPM) will host its 11th Annual “JUNETEENTH” Community ReCommitment Celebration on Monday, June 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The festivities will take place in three joint locations—National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum (817 E. 104th St., between Corliss and Maryland Ave.), Corliss High School (821 E. 103rd St.) and Butler College Prep (821 E. 103rd St.).

The daylong schedule of events will begin with a parade/walk that segues into a block party and youth basketball Tournament Championship at Corliss High School and Butler College Prep. All activities are free of charge.

“Each year, we have a different theme for why ‘Community ReCommitment’ is important,” said Museum President David Peterson, Jr. “This year’s theme is ‘Paint the Hood Orange,’ as we stand in solidarity with mothers nationally against gun violence.”

Peterson added that event organizers have partnered with the Citywide Juneteenth Coalition, Hustle Mommies, Chi-ball Y League and a host of other community partners to deliver a message of non-violence, community unity and a celebration of culture.

More than 500 youth have already signed up for the basketball tournament and the championship games will be played on Juneteenth. The tournament is sponsored by Wintrust. The block party will include food, vendors, music, performances and special presentations.

“We have been celebrating Juneteenth long before it became an officially recognized holiday,” said Dr. Lyn Hughes, founder of NAPRPPM. “The Pullman Porters represent a critical narrative in our history, and the ReCommitment Celebration is another way that we honor their legacy.”

For more information about the event, visit

Mariano’s to celebrate Juneteenth with a kickoff party at their Bronzeville location on Monday, June 19, starting at 4 p.m.

This free event will celebrate Black-owned businesses and local community groups with music, car shows and samples from local vendors. One of those businesses is Chef Dominique Leach’s Lexington Betty Smokehouse in Pullman.

Chef Leach has a special relationship with Mariano’s and her expertise and soulful food earned her a spot on the Food Network’s show Chopped, recognition as the “Best Barbecue in Chicago” by Good Morning America, and a full brick-and-mortar home on the South Side. The address is 3857 S. King Drive.

Bronzeville Juneteenth Celebration is a village-themed, family-friendly celebration on Saturday, June 17 at 12:00 p.m. for a day of supporting the love of freedom for the 3rd year in the Bronzeville community. It is held in the historic business and entertainment corridor from 3509 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive through the Phillip Jackson Parkway which is on the south/east corner of 35th and Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.

The event will offer live entertainment for both adults and children inside of the participating businesses, as well as outside in the front garden and rear lot areas. Celebrate an impactful piece of America’s past, present and future. Local historians, visual and performing artists, crafters, as well as others from the Chicagoland area will come together to showcase their creative art, share stories, and entertain attendees. Stop by early or join later for fireworks (open field near Mariano’s) after 6 p.m.

The Black Star Project, Absolutely Anything Essential Gift Shop, Safe and Peaceful Communities, The Bud Billiken Parade/Defender Charities, East Lake Management, My Block My Hood My City, The Barclay Law Group and Rep. Kam Buckner’s office, local historians, Chicago small businesses and Bronzeville community members are the “WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CANNOT REST” that have made this experience possible.

1619: The Journey of a People, The Musical by Ted Williams III will be performed at the University of Chicago Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th Street in Chicago on Juneteenth – Monday, June 19, 2023, at 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. CDT.  In 1619, 20 enslaved Africans arrived in Point Comfort, Va. The 400-year journey that followed would change a nation and the world. Using various musical forms including hip-hop, jazz, and blues, this fabulous musical theater production commemorates the struggle for equality and celebrates the story of America’s African sons and daughters.1619 will leave you entertained, educated, and inspired! A panel discussion will follow this performance.

A celebration and community recognition event is planned for Friday and Saturday, June 16 & 17, as a part of “Juneteenth Illinois,” an initiative commemorating the official June 19 date. This year marks the 3rd annual celebration of the day by the county since it became an official holiday in December of 2020. Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer (2nd District) and Barbara Deer (Juneteenth IL Executive Director) are heading up the effort this year. Juneteenth Illinois is a collaboration between The Office of Cook County Commissioner Deer, Cook County Commissioner Bill Lowry (3rd District), Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore (4th District), Congressman Danny Davis (7th District), Rep. Lakesia Collins (9th District), Alderwoman Monique Scott (24th Ward), Alderman Walter Burnett (27th Ward), and the Cook County Juneteenth Joint Planning Committee. The day-long panel activities will be held at Malcolm X College, June 17, located at 1900 W. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago.

Mayor Brandon Johnson will speak at the Juneteenth Scholarship Reception being held on the evening of June 16. $10,000 in scholarships will be awarded to students. The scholarships will be awarded to ten newly selected students with additional monies given to returning students. In addition, each scholarship recipient receives year-round professional mentorship, additional stipends and group activities during college breaks. Executive Director, Barbara Deer said, “I’m grateful that through these initiatives we are able to sow financial seeds of knowledge via scholarship and mentoring for youth from underserved communities, while also highlighting the accomplishments and ongoing challenges that we face through education.”

The evening’s program includes a showcase of youth leadership in the arts with African dance, a drumline, soulful music, the annual “Divine 9 roll call”, and great food. The sold-out event will be held at 540 West Madison rooftop.

On June 17, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will offer the welcome and opening remarks to the celebration alongside Executive Director Barbara Deer.

Juneteenth IL runs all day and will provide a varied slate of programming including panel discussions, resource fair, blood drive and entertainment. Entertainers include Kells the Artist, Bobbi Ponder, Sean Black, D’Moment and others.

All access to Juneteenth Illinois 2023 panels and activities is FREE to the public, although pre-registration is strongly encouraged for this popular event.

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