How you can celebrate Juneteenth in Dayton

Today, Americans around the country will celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

June 19, 1865, was the date when slavery was officially abolished in Texas, which was the last U.S. state to comply with the 13th Amendment, which officially outlawed slavery when it was passed in 1863.

>> PHOTOS: 300 black men in suits march in downtown Dayton

The holiday gets its name from the combination of June and Nineteenth, and is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, Emancipation Day, Juneteenth Independence Day and Black Independence Day.

>> OPINION: Here’s what Juneteenth actually means to Dayton and the rest of Ohio

Here in Dayton, there are a few different ways to celebrate Juneteenth, either at in-person or online events.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Online Presentation

On Friday June 19th at noon, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will join five other leading Black museums and historical institutions to launch, a digital commemoration of Juneteenth.

The original video presentation at noon Friday will feature Lonnie G. Bunch III, the first African American and first historian to serve as the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; Dr. Johnetta Betsch Cole, anthropologist, educator, museum director and the first female African American president of Spelman College; and the Honorable Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library.
To learn more and subscribe for updates, visit

Harambee in honor of Black Lives Matter & Juneteenth

Harambee is the Swahili word for “all pull together” and is a Kenyan tradition of community self-help events. It is also the official motto of Kenya and appears on its coat of arms.

In honor of Juneteenth, The Montgomery County Freedom Schools are presenting a citywide Harambee in honor of Black Lives Matter and Juneteenth on Friday, June 19, at noon at Richard Allen Prep at 184 Salem Ave. For more information, click here.

First Annual Juneteenth Celebration (COVID-19 Edition)

The inaugural Juneteenth Celebration at DECA Prep (200 Homewood Ave.) is happening on Friday, June 19, from 12-4 p.m. $5 donation per meal (1 meat, 2 sides and 1 drink). Organizers state that this is an opportunity to learn about the history of Juneteenth and why its celebrated. Please note, social distancing will be enforced at this event. 

Juneteenth Party with Purpose

Friday evening, Toxic Brew Company is hosting a party to commemorate Juneteenth and raise funds for Black Lives Matter Dayton.
Chef Dane Shipp is going to be slinging a menu of classics. For $12 you get:
BBQ Chicken or Vegan Pulled Pork paired with your choice of 2: Collard Greens, Mac & Cheese, or Black Eyed Pea Salad. Jalapeño Cornbread comes with the meal. $3 for an extra side.

Toxic is donating all sales of ISO-Heaven IPA  to Black Lives Matter Dayton, as well as 25% of the day's sales. For non-drinkers, Toxic is debuting a new house-made strawberry soda for $2.  All proceeds from the soda will also go to BLM Dayton.

The event runs from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, June 19, at 431 E. 5th St, Dayton. More information, click here.

Shop to support black owned businesses

Locals are encouraged to shop at local black-owned businesses on Friday June 19. A Facebook group called Dayton Speaks listed six local businesses to specifically support this Juneteenth:

  • Baldwin Cafe -  Learn more at
  • Just Oil Hair & Body Solutions  - Online at
  • Style-n-Grace Shoetique - Online at
  • Ink by Tatted Toni - Online at
  • TheZe DealZ - A Thrifty Boutique - 3183 W Siebenthaler Ave, Suite C, Dayton. Open 11am to 7pm.
  • Twist Cupcakery - 25 S. Saint Clair St, Dayton. Open 10:30am  - 6:30pm.

>> How to support black-owned businesses, organizations and artists in Dayton

Tune in to see Springfield native John Legend perform live

If you're not able to make to an in person event, you can enjoy one online featuring Springfield native John Legend on Verzuz.

Verzuz is an independent visual webcast series created by recording producers Timbaland and Swizz Beats where two hip-hop / R&B producers or singers pair up live on Instagram and compete to see who has the better catalog.

The Juneteenth celebration will feature a special edition of Verzuz in a battle of the pianos with Legend going up against Alicia Keys on Friday June 19th at 8pm EST on Instagram here. The online event will be followed with an after party hosted by DJ Nice.

>>  A first-hand account from Dave Chappelle’s celebrity-packed comedy shows

Juneteenth Festival/Black family cookout

The Dayton Rising Juneteenth Celebration is taking place at Dayton View Park (corner of Broadway and Superior Avenue) starting at 11am with food and COVID-19 resources, then from 1-3pm meditation and healing; and from 3-6pm music and arts.  All vendors are welcome free of charge. Organizers ask that attendees wear mask and follow social distancing.

Salsa Saturday Juneteenth

On Saturday evening, you can top off your celebration with a special Salsa Saturday at Therapy Cafe (452 E. 3rd St) with DJ Danny Diaz from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. You must be over 18 to attend. There is a $5 cover.

For safety, staff will be wearing masks, all seating sections have been clearly marked, sanitizing stations have been set up throughout the club, and staff will be sanitizing the club every hour. Chaperones will be escorting patrons to your section in the club and monitoring that everyone is adhering to guidelines.

>> READ MORE: Poor People’s Campaign events cancelled, transforms into virtual march

About the Author