Understanding the Significance and Relevance of Juneteenth in the United States
Mayer Brown has curated the following resources as a starting point in your education about Juneteenth and the role of race in American history and culture. We encourage you to explore these materials, which include content appropriate for various age groups. Since 2020, Mayer Brown’s US offices have observed Juneteenth as a paid holiday so that our colleagues can devote time to learning, reflection and related community events.
Virtual: Ancestors Know Who We Are (opening June 15): The National Museum of the American Indian features on online exhibition of Black-Indigenous women artists, which explores intersectional identity and the lived experiences of Black-Indigenous women.
Charlotte: Elements of Freedom (June 19, 1pm-5pm): The Harvey P. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture hosts a family friendly day of music, conversation, and creative expression.
Chicago: How to Celebrate Juneteenth in Chicago (June 17-20): A guide on Juneteenth celebrations in Chicago, featuring exhibits, theatre, cookouts, festivals, and other events.
Chicago: Celebrate Juneteenth at the Field Museum (June 20, 10am): Michelle Duster, the great granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, will discuss the limited representation of African Americans. The Museum will be free to Illinois residents.
Chicago: Chicago Mahogany Tours (visit for reservation): Take a tour of historic Black neighborhoods, including the Bronzeville tour, which visits many of Chicago’s important Civil War sites and burial grounds.
Houston: The Cupcake Kitchen Houston (June 17-19): A Black female-owned bakery and soul food restaurant in Third Ward, will offer special dishes all weekend at $6.19. They will have "Juneteenth Sweets & Eats" specials at noon, including Southern grilled oxtail quesadillas and homemade banana pudding.
Houston: Children's Museum Houston (June 18, 10am-4pm) will be honoring Juneteenth with drumming, storytelling, dramatization, interactive activities, and photo-ops with Black Panther.
Houston: Wells Fargo Presents Juneteenth: The Journey to Freedom (June 19, 8pm): A remembrance event that features community artists, live music and dance performances that take the audience on a storytelling journey from 1865 to today. Tickets become available on the website on June 18 at 10am; performance will be livestreamed.
Los Angeles: Juneteenth Prosperity Market @ CAAM (June 19, 11am-3 pm): Prosperity Market will host a pop-up farmer’s market at the California African American Museum, featuring Black farmers, chefs, and entrepreneurs at this special Juneteenth edition.
Los Angeles: Leimart Park Rising Juneteenth Festival: Continuing the tradition of Juneteenth in historic Leimart Park, this event features 300+ Black-owned businesses, three main stages, food trucks, DJs, spoken work, and more.
New York: Juneteenth Food Festival (June 18-19): Taking place on a historic African American landmark in Brooklyn, this 2-day event features 20 different Black food vendors serving eats from across the African diaspora.
New York: Juneteenth Unity Fest (June 19, 3pm-“Late”): This second annual event brings together diverse voices in commemoration and celebration of Juneteenth and Black culture.
New York and Virtual: 13th Annual Juneteenth 2022 (June 17-19, New York): A three-day summit online or in person to celebrate the community through empowerment, health and wellness, education, and entertainment.
New York and Virtual: The Tribeca Film Festival Juneteenth Program (Live programming through June 19): Explore in-person and virtual films celebrating the richness of Black stories and uplifting the voices of Black storytellers.
Palo Alto: Juneteenth Festival in Los Altos (June 19, 12pm-6pm): Justice Vanguard hosts a celebration featuring art, wine, music, food, games and more.
Salt Lake City: Celebrating Black Joy: Juneteenth Celebration and Black-Owned Business Expo (June 20, 12pm-10pm): SLC’s official Juneteenth celebration features exhibits, entertainment, roller skating, events for kids, and more, spotlighting Utah’s Black community. The afterparty is at 9pm - 1am and followed by a movie night.
San Francisco: San Francisco Black Film Festival (June 16-19): A festival celebrating African American cinema and showcasing films representing the diversity in the African diaspora.
San Francisco: Juneteenth SF Freedom Celebration in the Fillmore Jazz District (June 18, 11am-6pm): An afternoon filled with live music, entertainment, carnival games and rides, a classic car show, artisan marketplace, food vendors, and a hair/fashion show. (Fillmore St. between Geary and Fulton Streets)
Washington, DC: NMAAHC Virtual and In-Person Events (through June 21): The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) hosts a series of public events, most of which are recorded and available to attend both virtually and in-person. Or, plan your visit to self-tour the museum with advance or same-day passes for another time.
Washington, DC: Reframing the Narrative, Ballet at the Kennedy Center (June 14-19): A week-long celebration that offers dynamic performances by the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Ballethnic Dance Company and Collage Dance Collective, along with other Black-identifying ballet dancers from across the United States.
A Primer on Structural Racism in America’s Institutions, For Mayer Brown’s Black in America Speaker Series, NYU Law professor and ACLU President Deborah Archer, created a custom program for Mayer Brown to explore the concept of systemic racism and its presence in America’s institutions.
Juneteenth Jamboree explores stories of Black culture and history and includes highlights from a decade of Juneteenth celebrations (27 mins)
Why Juneteenth is Important for America, a very brief history lesson (4 mins)
The 2016 documentary “13th,” (a reference to the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution) examines racial prejudices within the US prison system through interviews with politicians, historians, academics and convicts. It draws powerful similarities between the profit-driven slave trade and the profit-driven mass incarceration industry that continues today. (1 hr 40 mins)
Reconstruction: America After the Civil War is a four-part documentary that explores the transformative years following the American Civil War, when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, destruction, and social change.
Voices Remembering Slavery: Freed People Tell Their Stories, Recordings of interviews taken between 1932 and 1975 of 22 formerly enslaved people who detail their experiences with slavery and the notion of freedom.
Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised), a Questlove Jawn, Watch on Hulu or Disney + Questlove’s Oscar-winning directorial debut featuring never-before-seen footage of the epic Harlem Cultural Festival, taking place over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock. Summer of Soul highlights the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. Footage includes interviews and restored performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension, and more.
I Am Not Your Negro, “A documentary film and social critique film essay based on James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript 'Remember This House'. The film explores the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin's recollections of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as his personal observations of American history.”
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, A documentary film about novelist Toni Morrison who examines her life, her works and the powerful themes throughout her literary career.
High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America, A food travelogue series based on the concept of showing the rich culture behind African-American cuisine and its great influence on American cuisine.
When They See Us, A series based on the true story of the Exonerated Five, about five Black teenagers who were falsely accused and convicted of a brutal attack in Central Park.
Malcolm X (1992), Spike Lee’s iconic biographical film about the life of Malcolm X.
We Own This City, "A limited series chronicling the rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force. It examines the corruption and moral collapse that befell an American city in which the policies of drug prohibition and mass arrest were championed at the expense of actual police work.” Events take place before and after the death of Freddie Gray.
Community Soundstage: A Conversation With Amythyst Kiah, Three acoustic numbers will be performed by Amythyst Kiah, whose rock inflected country compositions redefine the limits of roots music to represent the influence of Black musicians.
Black Smoke: African Americans And The United States Of Barbecue, A conversation with Adrian Miller (James Beard Award winner, attorney, and certified barbecue judge) about his book Black Smoke, focused on the perseverance, culinary innovation, and entrepreneurship of African Americans whose faces and stories have been marginalized from the story of this American cuisine.
Van R. Newkirk II
Claire Cain Miller
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
- The American Nightmare
- Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?
- Fighting Racism Even, and Especially, Where We Don’t Realize It Exists: How to Be an Antiracist
Penn GSE News
Teen and Young Adult Stories
On The Shoulder of Giants (40 mins)
Talking About Race and Understanding and Celebrating Juneteenth with Kids (webpage by the National Museum of African American History & Culture)
Jeremiah A. DeBerry
Partner, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, US
Diversity Initiatives Manager
Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion