Join AWP in Commemorating Juneteenth

June 12, 2024


Juneteenth is the momentous day in 1865 when news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached the last enslaved people in the United States, in Galveston, Texas—more than two years after the proclamation was issued. It is a time for celebration, reflection, and growth. We’ve assembled a collection of resources to commemorate Juneteenth and provide further education on its value and importance.

In addition to engaging with these resources and attending these events, you can support Black authors by checking out our Black History Month and Black poetry lists, or by buying directly from Black writers, artists, and business owners.


From the Writer’s Chronicle

Truth(s) Be Told: Citizenship and Composite Counterstories by Donald Quist, November 2023

The AWP HBCU Fellowship: The Recipients and Advisor A. J. Verdelle Reflect on the Program’s Inaugural Year by A. J. Verdelle, September 2023

An Interview with Jericho Brown by Jona Colson, November 2020

Middle Passage at 25: Charles Johnson Reflects on His National Book Award–Winning Novel and More by Robin Lindley, February 2017

In Our Way: Racism in Creative Writing by Claudia Rankine, October/November 2016

Whole Sight: Notes on New Black Fiction by Charles Johnson, February 1985

Rewatch AWP Events

#AWP24 Keynote Address by Jericho Brown

#AWP24 Black Women As (Keepers of) the Archive: Photographs, Hybrid and Historical Text

#AWP23 Blue Flower Arts Presents Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Kwame Dawes, and Chigozie Obioma

#AWP23 Cave Canem Presents: Duende & The Harlem Arts Salon

#AWP22 Honoring the Endeavor with Cornelius Eady & Toi Derricotte

#AWP21 Tribute to June Jordan, Sponsored by Copper Canyon Press

Virtual AWP in Conversation: Celebrating Black Poetry with Cave Canem

Virtual AWP Pedagogy: Reclaiming Genre Fiction for the Creative Writing Classroom

NBCC Award Winners Edwidge Danticat and Sarah M. Broom on Finding Home

Legacy Conversations with C. S. Giscombe and Nathaniel Mackey, Sponsored by Cave Canem

AWP Virtual Book Club Featuring Horsepower by Joy Priest

Virtual AWP: Conversations with Writers Featuring Maurice Carlos Ruffin & Regina Brooks


Video Resources

On Juneteenth from the US National Archives

Juneteenth: Connecting the Historic to the Now from the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Juneteenth and Culinary History – A Conversation between Adrian Miller and Kevin Young from the NMAAHC


Further Resources

The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth, a brief article from the NMAAHC

Learning Lab Collections, interactive collections of objects, stories, and resources from the NMAAHC

Digital Resource Guide, an extensive list of digital resources and educational offerings from the NMAAHC


Online Juneteenth Events

Wednesday, June 12

12:00–1:00 p.m. History Talk – The Long Road to Freedom: The U.S. Army and Juneteenth

Join the National Museum of the United States Army for a free virtual lecture! This event is great for history lovers, military buffs, and lifelong learners of all ages.

Saturday, June 15

1:00–3:00 p.m. Juneteenth: How and Why Do You Celebrate?

Join the Racial Justice Collaborative as they explore the significance of Juneteenth, an integral part of American history, and its vibrant celebrations that resonate across communities worldwide.


Monday, June 17

12:00–1:00 p.m. Juneteenth Speaker

Mama Jatu, a storyteller and educator at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, will bring history to life.


Wednesday, June 19

1:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m. (on June 20) Juneteenth Virtual Book Festival

Join Literacy Moments Magazine online for a celebration Black culture, literature, and history. Dive into virtual book readings, author interviews, and panel discussions. Connect with fellow book lovers and discover new reads from Black authors.


1:00–2:00 p.m. On Juneteenth: Special Event with Annette Gordon-Reed

In celebration and commemoration of Juneteenth, the American Family Insurance DreamBank, in partnership with AmFam Group’s Black/African American Business Resource Group, is honored to feature Annette Gordon-Reed, a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard, for a conversation on the history and legacy of Juneteenth.


4:00–5:30 p.m. Juneteenth 2024! International Art Exhibition Gallery Talk No. 1

This exhibition from Art Impact International, Inc. commemorates Freedom Day! Some of the twenty-seven artists will be present to speak about their works and answer any questions from attendees. This is the first of four Gallery Talks.


7:00–8:00 p.m. Juneteenth Spoken Word Open Mic

From Dandelion Roots & Sage Circle: “We’ve inherited a powerful legacy of joy, RESILIENCE, faith, HOPE and SOVEREIGNTY. Give full-throated respect and gratitude for all that our forebears have gifted us. Share your original piece or be a supportive presence [in] the audience. All skills levels welcome!”


7:00–8:00 p.m. Virtual Parlor Chat: History of Juneteenth

Join Morris-Jumel Mansion for an interactive discussion that will delve into the historical context that led to this momentous day, the efforts and struggles that African Americans faced before and after emancipation, and the long journey toward the national recognition of Juneteenth. The event will discuss the significance of this day in the context of African American culture and American history, highlighting key figures and events that have shaped its legacy. Participants in the chat will create a communal poem that embodies the spirit of Juneteenth and honors the journey toward freedom and equality.


7:00–8:30 p.m. Celebrate Juneteenth with The Rewind: An Online Experience

Join in honoring Juneteenth with The Rewind—not quite a webinar, not necessarily a TV show, but a unique online experience! You’ll experience a game show, a perspective on stereotypes, live discussions about Juneteenth, a look into where we presently are in history and how we got there, and much more in this free and fun online experience.

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