Morristown Juneteenth Weekend brings together five non-profit organizations to create a three-day event that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. This FREE weekend celebrates the African American community and offers the public access to local artists, food, music, and other festivities at major cultural venues in Morristown and Morris Township. Partner organizations for this event are Morris Arts, Art in the Atrium, Sankofa Heritage Collective Morris County, Mayo Performing Arts Center and the Morris Museum.
Juneteenth, traditionally observed on June 19, commemorates Black liberation from the institution of slavery that took place at the end of the Civil War when President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became the law in all states. The day also highlights the resilience, solidarity, and culture of the Black Community. June 19, 1865, was the day word reached the enslaved in Galveston, Texas, though this emancipation actually ended slavery on paper two years earlier on January 1, 1863.
The weekend kicks off at the Atrium Gallery with an opening reception of Black Art in the Sun presented by Art in the Atrium, Inc. (ATA) on Thursday, June 15. Its signature event and the 31st Annual Exhibit of Black Fine Art will feature artist Ron ‘REAP’ Powell and will include the work of 30 other artists. The exhibition will be on view from May 15 through August 15, 2023.
The party continues at the Morris Museum on Friday, June 16 for a happy hour event when the public is invited to meet artists from the special exhibition, Each One Teach One, and hear spoken word poetry from local poets. This free event will have delicious catering by Dominiques Dishes, an open bar, and music from DJ Rich.
The weekend culminates on Saturday, June 17 on the Morristown Green and Pioneer Plaza with FREEDOM DAY: The Juneteenth Festival of Morris County! This lively event was created for all families to celebrate the resilience, solidarity, history, and culture of the Black community. The day includes live performances by The Kofi and Sankofa Drum & Dance Ensemble, local artists, and a tribute to famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who made a historic visit to Morristown, NJ in 1865. Enjoy DJ sets, food, community resource tables, the Atlantic Health pavilion, and a main stage filled with live entertainment.
See Juneteenth Morristown Weekend schedule below
Thursday, June 15, 6 to 9 PM
Art in the Atrium Opening Reception of Black Art in the Sun
Morris County Administration and Records Building
10 Court Street, Morristown, NJ 07960
Friday, June 16, 6 to 9 PM
Morris Museum’s Juneteenth Party Celebration
6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ 07960
Saturday, June 17, Noon to 5 PM
Sankofa’s Juneteenth Festival of Morris County
The Green and Pioneer Plaza, Morristown, NJ 07960
Image Caption: Ron EA Powell REAP13; Wings of Osiris, 2023; Oil and impasto on canvas; 36″ × 48″; Photo by Marcus Romero. Kern Bruce; Black American Refugee, 2022; Mixed media; 16″ x 21”; On loan courtesy of the artist. Sankofa Event; Photo by John Cox.