Throughout the Peninsula, this Juneteenth will be celebrated in a variety of ways, with a barbecue, scholarships, performances, talks, a cooking demonstration and festivities in parks and fairgrounds on tap.
Juneteenth — a portmanteau of June and nineteenth — is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. and commemorating June 19, 1865, when slaves in Texas were finally declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden signed legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday. The law is effective immediately, and most federal employees are expected to observe it on Friday, June 18, since June 19 falls on a Saturday this year, the New York Times reported.
Here's a roundup of what's planned on the Peninsula to celebrate the holiday.
Celebrate youth and small businesses
When: Thursday, June 17, and Friday, June 18, 6-8:30 p.m.
Where: University Circle, 1900 University Ave., East Palo Alto
Live in Peace, an East Palo Alto-based nonprofit focused on empowering youth and young adults, is hosting two nights of Juneteenth celebrations. On Thursday evening, the group will celebrate education and youth and feature performers and live entertainment. A one-year $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to the winner of an essay contest.
On the evening of Friday, the nonprofit will highlight small businesses and feature a networking mixer and vendors.
BBQ, performances and a petting zoo
When: Saturday, June 19, 1 p.m.
Where: Jack Farrell Park, 2509 Fordham St., East Palo Alto
Tha Hood Squad, an activist collective that focuses on "policing the police" and providing community programs, is hosting a Juneteenth event on Saturday, featuring spoken word and live performances, a DJ, African dancers, vendors and a children's petting zoo. People are encouraged to bring their own grills and meat to barbecue at the park and encouraged to maintain social distancing. There will be free masks available. The event also celebrates the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party, according to an event flyer. Learn more on Instagram @ThaHoodSquad.
Recognize a Black WWII hero
When: Saturday, June 19, 11-11:30 a.m.
Where: Karl E. Clark Park, 313 Market Place, Menlo Park
The city of Menlo Park is set to celebrate Juneteenth, a day commemorating the ending of slavery in the U.S., with a ceremony in Belle Haven to recognize Karl E. Clark, an African American World War II hero who was a longtime community activist and mentor.
The ceremony will include the unveiling of a storyboard honoring Clark, for whom the park is named.
Set to speak at the event are Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, Menlo Park Mayor Drew Combs and City Council member Cecilia Taylor. The event is sponsored by the Menlo Park Historical Association, Belle Haven Action and the city of Menlo Park.
Hear from descendants of enslaved people or stream a cooking demo
When: June 18 to June 25, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Stanford University has organized several events, including a panel discussion and a series of cooking demonstrations focused on foods of the Black diaspora.
● Monday, June 21, noon to 1 p.m. A panel discussion called "Freedom was not Free" will feature the narratives of three Stanford staff and families who are descended from enslaved people: Ayodele Thomas, of the Office of Graduate Education; Jim Embry, Thomas' father; and Lettie McGuire from Stanford Medicine. More information here.
● June 18-25. People can watch a 30-minute cooking demonstration video online by Executive Chef Terry Braggs of Stanford's Residential and Dining Enterprises. He will prepare catfish étouffée and raspberry lemonade and will provide recipes for grilled peach coleslaw, wedge salad, smokey black-eyed peas, Southern baked macaroni and cheese and beet cornbread with honey butter.
For more information, visit stanford.app.box.com.
Combine Pride Month with Juneteenth
When: June 19, noon-1:15 p.m.
Where: Virtual. Register online at redwoodcity.zoom.us
Redwood City's Friends of the Library Bookstore is sponsoring an author talk with Dana Johnson, a gender nonbinary activist, author, documentary filmmaker and workshop facilitator, and Khalid Akil White, an educator, children's book author and CEO of Blkmpwr. The discussion will focus on topics of identity, intersectionality, diversity, equity and inclusion, and discuss how to serve and empower people of color, LGBTQ+ communities and marginalized populations through therapeutic activism.
Participate in a Blackalaureate auction fundraiser
When: June 19, 1-5 p.m.
Where: Lincoln Park, 199 University Ave., Los Altos
Justice Vanguard, a grassroots organization focused on tackling structural racism that was founded by Kenan Moos and Kiyoshi Taylor, two Black men from Los Altos, will host its second annual Juneteenth Celebration, inviting the public and media to learn about Juneteenth and its history while supporting Black businesses and a new "Blackalaureate" scholarship fund. The event is set to offer a wine tasting from a Black winery, soul food, cocktails, pastries, music and poetry.
It will also feature an auction to raise funds for the Blackalaureate scholarship fund, aimed at supporting Black students pursuing higher education. The scholarship will benefit students graduating from the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District in 2022.
Learn more about Juneteenth
When: Any time
Where: Mountain View Public Library, 585 Franklin St., Mountain View
The Mountain View Public Library has compiled a book display and reading list on the topics of Juneteenth, the history of slavery in the U.S. and the Reconstruction period that followed the Civil War for people interested in learning more. It can be accessed at encore.mountainview.gov.
Attend the 40th annual Juneteenth in the Park Festival
When: June 13-19
Where: Various locations, virtual
The African American Community Service Agency is hosting its 40th annual Juneteenth in the Park event in San Jose. Events include:
● Thursday, June 17, at Enso Night Club, 97 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose: from 5-6:30 p.m., a Juneteenth happy hour, and from 6:30-10 p.m. a Sankofa Open Mic event featuring Prentice Powell.
● Friday, June 18, virtual: from 9-10:30 a.m., "Education before the Celebration" event with Morgan DeBaun, founder and creator of Blavity and AfroTech, and Janine Rubenstein, an entertainment journalist and TV personality.
● Saturday, June 19, Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, Gate D: noon-7 p.m., 40th Annual Juneteenth in the Park Festival. Planned performers include gospel musician and singer-songwriter Le'Andria Johnson, Lorianna Gardere; singer-songwriter Lena Byrd Miles; and Grammy Award-winning vocalist Ledisi. The emcee will be Marcus Washington of NBC Bay Area.