For more than 20 years, Phoenix artist Clottee Hammons has organized an annual literary event called The Emancipation Marathon, which features readings addressing the issue of racism.
This year, the readings are being taped and shared via social media due to COVID-19 public health concerns. The marathon is one of several metro Phoenix events happening on or around Friday, June 19, as community members celebrate Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S.
Juneteenth is taking place amid ongoing protests against police brutality and systemic racism. That context, along with the upcoming presidential election, is reflected in several of the events happening around metro Phoenix in coming days — including some that address related issues without a specific Juneteenth focus.
Here’s a sampling of those events, which range from an open mic night to a community march. They’re all free to attend, and some require advance online registration.
Speak Yo PeaceThursday, June 18
Black Lives Matter Metro Phoenix is presenting a virtual open mic performance by people of color, who can sign up ahead of time to present music, poetry, comedy, and more during the event that starts at 7 p.m. Get more information on the Palabras Bilingual Bookstore Facebook page.
Black Wave 2020Friday, June 19
An organization called Our Voice, Our Vote Arizona, which advocates for working families, is presenting this virtual event featuring speakers and entertainment from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Learn more on the organizer's Facebook page.
The Emancipation MarathonFriday, June 19 to Sunday, June 21
Emancipation Arts will post taped readings by volunteers on its Facebook page. The readings will feature selections from the Emancipation Proclamation. Find details on the Facebook event page.
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March for Our AncestorsFriday, June 19
424 North Central Avenue
This Juneteenth march and community celebration runs from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The march will begin at Civic Space Park and proceed to the Arizona State Capitol. Learn more on the Facebook event page.
Juneteenth CelebrationFriday, June 19
2311 North Miller Road, Scottsdale
This community event happening from 2 to 8 p.m. includes children’s activities from face painting to fishing, as well as relay races, sports, black history trivia, and voter registration. Get more information here.