Juneteenth events planned in Orlando as city remembers end of slavery

Town halls, celebrations happening this week

The Juneteenth flag, commemorating the day that slavery ended in the U.S., flies in Omaha, Nebraska, on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (Nati Harnik, Associated Press)

ORLANDO, Fla. – With Juneteenth approaching, there are several events planned in the Orlando area to remember and recognize the end of slavery in America.

Juneteenth is an homage to June 19, 1865, when Black men and women were freed after hundreds of years of being forced to work on plantations. These days, the celebrations focus on recognizing the struggle for civil rights and working toward a more egalitarian future.

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“The day celebrates freedom for Black Americans and recognizes the strives gained through determination, perseverance, education and greater opportunity and also acknowledges that the struggle for equality continues,” a city of Orlando spokesperson wrote in a news release. “This Juneteenth reaffirms the city’s commitment to ensure rights and privileges are available to Black Americans and all residents equally and that Orlando remains an inclusive, welcoming city for all.”

Below is a list of events residents are encouraged to attend to learn more about the history of Juneteenth.

How to start a business virtual workshop

  • Tuesday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • City leaders will discuss how to start a business and provide details on resources available to help entrepreneurs. Register here.

News 6′s What’s Changed town hall

  • Tuesday, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • News 6 anchor Ginger Gadsden will moderate as our panel of experts discusses how racial relations have changed in America since George Floyd’s death and what improvements are still needed. You can watch online and submit questions at ClickOrlando.com/realtalk.

Orlando Magic’s Walk with Us virtual Juneteenth town hall

  • Wednesday, 11 a.m.
  • This virtual event will highlight the African American presence in Orlando from 1865 to now and spotlight several successful Black-owned businesses in the area. Monica May, the founder of Monica May Communications, will serve as the moderator. Register here.

Where Do We Go From Here? roundtable discussion

  • Wednesday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Several activists will be dissecting the issues impacting Black residents as Merchon Green, Orlando’s equity official, moderates. Register here.

Wells’Built Museum’s Celebrate Freedom Juneteenth Event

  • Friday, 6 p.m.
  • Expect spoken word artists, a makers market and food trucks at this even at the Wells’Built Museum of African American History and Culture on West South Street. Admission is $10. More information is available here.

Juneteenth at Barker Park Farmers Market

  • Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • There will be music, guest speakers, a double-dutch show and more during the farmers market at Barker Park on Monte Carlo Trail. Read more here.

Black Excellence: A State of Mind virtual roundtable

  • Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.
  • Featured panelists Rep. Val Demings and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings will be among the panelists sharing their stories of success, perseverance and generational impact. The town hall is part of the Orlando Magic’s Walk With Us series. Registration is available here.