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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 18 June 2020

The celebration of Juneteenth Oregon dates back to 1945 when the late and beloved community leader, Clara Peoples, introduced the tradition from Muskogee, Oklahoma, to her co-workers at the Kaiser Shipyards in Portland. Upon moving to Portland in 1945, Clara Peoples was surprised to learn that the Juneteenth holiday was unknown in this part of the country. 

Later Clara helped to initiate Portland’s annual citywide Juneteenth celebration in 1972. 

About Juneteenth 

Juneteenth, also known as “Independence Day” or “Freedom Day”, commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of African American slaves, 155 years ago.  

On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation effectively ending slavery on January 1, 1863, however, the Proclamation had little effect in the State of Texas until two and half years later. It was on June 19, 1865, that Union General Gordon Granger read General Orders No. 3 to the people of Galveston, Texas: 

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaved are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”

Juneteenth Oregon 2020

This year's celebration will air live from Jack London Revue, Saturday, June 20 at 1 pm PST.  Watch the event live on facebook.com/juneteenthoregon15 or facebook.com/PDXJazzPortland. Watch the event live on Instagram: instagram.com/juneteenthor or instagram.com/pdxjazz

This free community event, produced by PDX Jazz, will feature live musical performances by Saeeda Wright, Alonzo Chadwick, Arietta Ward, Thunderstorm Artis (The Voice), Chris Brown Quartet, Versi Jean, Noah Simpson, Silent Heroes (Mic Crenshaw, Libretto & Rich Hunter), ThankUSoMuch, and Ta'Mara Walker aka F.I.Y.A., and Nancy Jane who will sing the Black National Anthem.  

With special appearances by Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty (City of Portland), Mel Brown, Norman Sylvester, DJ Blackjack, Black United Fund of Oregon, and Don’t Shoot PDX.  

The event will also feature guests Miss Juneteenth Oregon, Aceia Spade and Little Miss Juneteenth Oregon, Rina Tchivandja. Miss Juneteenth Oregon provides education, tools, and resources to help youth build resilience, gain confidence and make positive life choices.  

Juneteenth Oregon is a nonprofit organization dedicated to connect and strengthen communities and share knowledge of the history of Juneteenth. This is a community-empowered festival. Learn more and donate at www.juneteenthor.com.

Juneteenth Community Art Event + Children’s March

juneteenth childrens marchDon't Shoot Portland poster by artists @y.een and @artistirresistibleJoin Don't Shoot Portland and artists @y.een and @artistirresistible for an art and march children's event to celebrate Juneteenth. If you have a fever or cough, please stay home. Wear a mask, observe 6 feet of social distance and don’t share a megaphone. 

Juneteenth Community Art Event + Children’s March

Friday, June 19
18 NE Killingsworth St. 

10:00 am - 2:00 pm – Art making with children
2:00 pm – Children's march  

The Children’s art and social justice council began organizing in the Fall of 2017. Community partnerships with local Arts and education institutions including ally organizations gave wings to this effort. The focus has been to utilize art and history as a vehicle to promote social change. Children are taught about the mechanics of community organizing. Organizers introduce them to historical leaders and policy formed for human rights to support the struggle for the protection of civil liberties. Children are challenged to use this grassroots education to create art that promotes their understanding and ideals for necessary policy change and culture shifts from white supremacy and all its forms of inequality.


"We Are Done Dying" NAACP Virtual Event

NAACP Vancouver invites the public to celebrate Juneteenth virtually on Saturday at 10:30 am. Registration is required to gain access to the viewing link.  

This year's celebration's theme, "We Are Done Dying", connects with a national NAACP campaign designed to expose and end the inequities embedded into our country at large. The campaign calls for policy changes in the areas of criminal justice, economics, health and voting to eliminate systematic racism and the death and disenfranchisement of African Americans.  Clark County Sheriff, Chuck Atkins, will be joining us for a moderated discussion surrounding racial justice. There will be an opportunity for attendees to submit questions during the later part of the discussion.   Additionally, all this week we will be sending out a daily email related to African American history.

This year marks 100 years after women won the vote in August 1920. Now learn about valiant women who would not back down!  Sometimes they worked in their own clubs and suffrage organizations, sometimes with white suffragists. Black women did not accept their exclusion from white suffrage organizations or the racist tactics employed by white suffragists.  In the twentieth century, more and more Black women joined the ranks of suffragists as the movement progressed. The Pulitzer 2020 Prizewinner Special Citation was posthumously was awarded to Ida B. Wells. It took far too long to recognize her courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching.

Juneteenth: A Celebration of Resilience

Friday, June 19, 2020 (All day) to Saturday, June 20, 2020 (All day) the African American History and Culture Museum presents a Juneteenth celebration online.

They are bringing the Museum to you through presentations, stories, photographs, and recipes from the Sweet Home Café. Join them for a Juneteenth Celebration to:

  • Listen to Lift Every Voice and Sing sung by renowned vocalist Rochelle Rice  
  • Discover how to trace your ancestors in a workshop presented by the Robert F. Smith Explore Your Family History Center  
  • Enjoy presentations about the history and significance of Juneteenth  
  • Hear a tale that celebrates the wisdom of the elders as told by acclaimed storyteller Diane Macklin 

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