The Juneteenth celebration in local Snohomish County communities includes a range of virtual and in-person activities from now through June 25.
“We hope this will be an emerging tradition for our neighborhoods and communities throughout our county,” said Donnie Griffin, a member of the Juneteenth Committee of Community Organizations and founder of the Lift Every Voice Legacy (LEVL) in Edmonds.
Juneteenth marks the official end of slavery in the Confederacy, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863, according to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. However, not all Black people were immediately free in Texas, as the state was still under Confederate control at the time of the signing. On June 19, 1865 (Juneteenth), about 2,000 Union troops marched into Texas, officially liberating all Black people from slavery.
Some of the festivities planned this month include: a Juneteenth Harambee event on June 10, sponsored by Edmond College; Black History in Snohomish County on June 14, sponsored by The Black Heritage Committee; New Leaders, New Table on June 15, sponsored by Snohomish County’s first African American-centered political action committee, SEPAC; a Black Panel Discussion on June 18, sponsored by the NAACP; Juneteenth History Storytelling by Eva Abrams on June 19, sponsored by LEVL; and a live-stream Church Sermon by the Jubilee Church of God in Christ in Everett on Sunday, June 20.
For a complete Juneteenth calendar of events, go to the LEVL website at beloved4all.org/juneteenth2021
“Although the Snohomish County NAACP and other community organizations have been celebrating Juneteenth in local areas for some time now, we have come together as a Juneteenth Committee to weave all of our activities and festivities in a single mosaic of colorful celebrations throughout the county,” Griffin added. “This is particularly significant since June 19 has become an official, paid state holiday in Washington beginning 2022.”
Committee participants include DanVonique Reed, Snohomish County Black Heritage Committee (Everett); Louis Harris, NAACP of Snohomish County (Everett/Mukilteo); Jacque Julien, Communities of Color Coalition, (Edmonds/Everett); Donnie Griffin, LEVL (Edmonds); Courtney Wooten, Suburbia Rising (Edmonds) and Project Director Arwen Valdez. Community Transit is the committee’s Foundation Builder sponsor for Juneteenth/Snohomish County 2021.