As described by UVA Today, “Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, marking the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Texas, the last of the former Confederate states to abolish slavery, and brought news that the war had ended and enslaved African Americans were free. Today, Juneteenth is a recognition of both the promise of emancipation and the long, winding, and difficult road that African Americans have had to travel.”

UVA Darden’s locations in Charlottesville and Arlington, Virginia means we have the unique opportunity to share upcoming Juneteenth events near both localities.


There are many ways to celebrate Juneteenth in Charlottesville throughout the month – check out a few of the upcoming events below:

17 June | Juneteenth Parade and Emancipation Concert at the Jefferson School

Join a day full of celebrations at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center! A parade will kick off the day’s events, followed by an opportunity to connect with Black vendors from organizations and businesses around Charlottesville. Enjoy the Emancipation Concert and attend a special performance of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom by August Wilson, presented by the Charlottesville Players Guild.

15-25 June | Charlottesville Players Guild Presents: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

The Charlottesville Players Guild, a Black theater performed from the Black perspective, will host performances of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom from Thursday, 15 June – Sunday, 25 June, at The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center.

“The 1920s chapter of August Wilson’s epic American Century Cycle begins as a routine recording session. As tensions rise between the members of a blues band and the owners of the recording studio and the white producers try to exploit the talents of the band—especially the gifted and impulsive Levee— Ma insists on having things her way.”

18 June | Rock & Reel: Monticello’s Folk Traditions

Early Music Access Project presents a concert that explores the unique repertoire of the accomplished Black fiddlers of Monticello and the Hemings family, hosted in the Rotunda at the University of Virginia. The dome of this UNESCO World Heritage Site will be lit up with constellations, modeled after Thomas Jefferson’s 1818 plans. Register for free tickets in advance.

Before the concert, join a special pre-concert tour of the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers on the University of Virginia’s Grounds at 6 PM.

19 June | Historic River View Farm Tour

Join the Ivy Creek Foundation to learn about the history of the Juneteenth holiday and the history of River View Farm, located in scenic Albemarle County. Tour River View Farm and learn about the Carr/Greer family’s contributions to the community as well as their legacy. Register for free to book your spot.

24 June | Southern Albemarle Juneteenth Celebration with Tour of Scottsville African American Historical Sites

The tour begins at 10 AM at Union Baptist Church and will include stops at Washington/Rosenwald Scottsville School, the Minerva Bell Lewis Historical Marker, and the Scottsville Museum’s Juneteenth African American Exhibit.

Visit the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at UVA

Though Juneteenth marks the day when the Emancipation Proclamation was enforced in Texas on 19 June 1865, Charlottesville has its own version that occurred on 3 March 1865. That day is known and celebrated locally as Liberation and Freedom Day, and the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at UVA incorporates the sun’s path on 3 March 1865 into the design. Visiting the memorial at any time is a thought-provoking way to remember the enslaved and their paths to freedom.

Visit the “Pride Overcomes Prejudice” Exhibit

Visit the Jefferson School’s permanent exhibition, Pride Overcomes Prejudicewhich presents the history of the African American communities of Charlottesville and Albemarle County through the lives of the students and teachers who built and fostered the Jefferson School throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The Center will be open to visitors throughout June, but will be closed on Monday, 19 June.

Washington, D.C.

Juneteenth has been a recognized holiday in the nation’s capital since 2004, and there are many ways to “celebrate Black history, freedom and expression throughout June.”

Visit and for a list of some of the events planned throughout June.

A few highlights from the listings:

17-19 June | See the Emancipation Proclamation at the National Archives

The National Archives will display the original Emancipation Proclamation and its companion document, General Order No. 3, which granted freedom to the last enslaved people in Galveston, Tx. three years after the Proclamation was issued. Note that Because of its fragility, the Emancipation Proclamation can only see 36 hours of sunlight per year, so this display is rare.

19 June | Experience Black Lives Matter Plaza

Visit the plaza for a free Juneteenth event with live music, outdoor games, contests, a kid zone and a special “School Daze” 35th anniversary segment with HBCU students, alumni, and members of the Divine Nine.

Ongoing (Free Admission) | Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures

The National Museum of African American History and Culture’s latest exhibit will explore the concept of Afrofuturism, including its origins, ideas and creations. The voices of authors, artists, musicians and scholars will all be reflected in the interactive exhibit that examines Afrofuturism’s growing global influence and dynamic impact on pop culture. Additional events planned for the Juneteenth weekend.

Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture

NMAAHC is a state-of-the-art building that addresses nearly every aspect of the African American experience, covering the arts, slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, athletics and much more.

Juneteenth Community Day on 17 June will feature arts and crafts for all ages, live music, gardening demos and much more. That same day, check out History Alive!‘s free program on the history of the Juneteenth holiday. The museum also features an outstanding virtual resource on the Juneteenth holiday complete with exclusive programming, videos, a social media toolkit, testimonials and much, much more.

Darden is an inclusive community united by honor.