All proceeds from the Juneteenth March go towards the building fund of the Harlem Center. The center is a 10-year effort started by a coalition of New York centered, community based organizations (CBOs). Harlem Center will increase the capacity to address unmet needs and gaps in service delivery.
Black non-profit organizations in New York receive less than 10% of the available funding from public and private sector fund managers, grantmakers, and gifters. The Coalition and The Center were originally organized to serve as a funding center to bootstrap these CBOs that serve millions of New Yorkers on shoestring budgets.
Harlem Center is a 20,000 sq.ft. community center offering services from +30 CBOs from across the 5 boroughs to provide community support services from economic inclusion to the arts to health/wellness and uplifting citizens affected by issues ranging from recidivism to anti-LGBTQ sentiments.
Harlem Center has +30 Community-Based Orgs
1865 - Present
On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Texas were told they were free. A century and a half later, people across the U.S. continue to celebrate the day, which is now a federal holiday.
Deriving its name from combining "June" and "nineteenth", it is celebrated on the anniversary of the order, issued by Major General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for slaves in Texas. Originating in Galveston, Juneteenth has since been observed annually in various parts of the United States, often broadly celebrating African-American culture. The day was first recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law after the efforts of Lula Briggs Galloway, Opal Lee, and others.
Early celebrations date to 1866, at first involving church-centered community gatherings in Texas. They spread across the South and became more commercialized in the 1920s and 1930s, often centering on a food festival. Participants in the Great Migration brought these celebrations to the rest of the country. During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, these celebrations were eclipsed by the nonviolent determination to achieve civil rights, but grew in popularity again in the 1970s with a focus on African American freedom and African-American arts. Beginning with Texas by proclamation in 1938, and by legislation in 1979, every U.S. state and the District of Columbia has formally recognized the holiday in some way. With its adoption in parts of Mexico, the holiday has become an international holiday. Juneteenth is celebrated by the Mascogos, descendants of Black Seminoles who escaped from slavery in 1852 and settled in Coahuila, Mexico.
Celebratory traditions often include public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation which promised emancipation for all slaves under Confederate control, singing traditional songs such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing", and the reading of works by noted African-American writers, such as Ralph Ellison and Maya Angelou. Juneteenth celebrations may also include rodeos, street fairs, cookouts, family reunions, parties, historical reenactments, and Miss Juneteenth contests. In 2021, Juneteenth became the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was adopted in 1983.
The holiday is considered the "longest-running African-American holiday" and has been called "America's second Independence Day". Juneteenth is usually celebrated on the third Saturday in June. Historian Mitch Kachun considers that celebrations of the end of slavery have three goals: "to celebrate, to educate, and to agitate".
General order No. 3 of June 19, 1865
Band performing in Texas for Emancipation Day, 1900
Emancipation Day celebration in Richmond, Virginia, 1905
Flyer for a 1980 Juneteenth celebration at the Seattle Center
In June 2020 We started as a series of Protests
The Juneteenth March was founded as a march to New York City Hall in 2020 to highlight multiple injustices and reforms at the center of the city's power. The march was initially started by James Felton Keith and Tiffany Rea-Fisher, two neighbors in Harlem that came together with a larger group of activists weeks earlier and after the murder of George Floyd. It was a beautiful non-violent march from Harlem down 5th Ave to the Upper East Side of Manhattan that grew to thousands of New Yorkers as it moved south, ending just blocks from where the 5K will start in Central Park.
The team is still intact and decided to evolve the original march into an event celebrating the health and wellness of Black people. So we created a 5K Run, Walk (march), Roll in the park!