There is one more appropriate reason to celebrate Juneteenth this weekend. President Joe Biden signed legislation Thursday to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, marking June 19 as a national day to commemorate the end of formal slavery in the United States.
The Northwest African American Museum has rolled out Juneteenth events all week, with Saturday presenting a highlight afternoon with its Juneteenth Jamboree in partnership with the City of Seattle Parks and Recreation. The NAAM family fun is scheduled for 12 noon to 6 p.m. at Judkins Park (2150 S. Norman St.). Find out more here
The event will feature live entertainment performances and story time for kids. All of Seattle professional sports teams will be hosting activities and engaging with participants, including the Mariners, Storm, Sounders, Seahawks and Kraken.
Kraken hockey skills coaches Katelyn Parker and David Min will be staging a ball hockey activation for kids and adults to try the sport. Reliable sources say Kraken team announcer Everett Fitzhugh has volunteered to be a goalie.
There's more at Saturday NAAM festival: The Seattle Fire Department will be offering COVID-19 vaccinations and education materials. OneMedical will be on hand to provide blood pressure screenings, mental health and wellness tools, along with COVID-19 vaccine information. Find out more here
NAAM will continue the Juneteenth celebration Monday with its "Juneteenth Encore + Black Music Month Program, a virtual event from 6 to 8 p.m. Find out how to register here
Paul Porter, thought leader and entertainment industry veteran, will be the host. His work is focused on empowering students to shift their behavior patterns from consuming social media and entertainment and toward "absorbing education."
Author of the critically acclaimed book "BlackOut," Porter will discuss the real nature and motivations behind the music that gets played on radio and TV. Porter plans to share his first-hand experiences with detailed insight as an insider and decision-maker at the highest levels of the industry, including expert commentary about music, race and culture in appearances for major media outlets such CNN, MSNBC, Entertainment Tonight, FOX News, Billboard and Rolling Stone.
Juneteenth is first proclaimed and legal national holiday (President declared Friday a government holiday this year) since Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday in 1983.
On June 19, 1865, Gordon Granger, a Union general arrived in Galveston, TX, to inform enslaved African Americans they were free and the Civil War had ended. Two months earlier, Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrender at Appomattox, VA. Granger's announcement officially marked putting the Emancipation Proclamation into full effect-two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued it on Jan. 1, 1863.