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Community News

In the Community: Upcoming Online Events and Connections: Juneteenth

Each week, Literary Arts staff will round up news, events, and more happening in the literary community. Let us know if you have any events or book news to share.

Poems for Juneteenth

Celebrate and honor the important contributions of Black poets with this round-up of poems from poets.org

Alone” by Maya Angelou
The Dawn’s Awake!” by Otto Leland Bohanan
litany” by Mahogany L. Browne 
Family Reunion” by Rita Dove
To America” by James Weldon Johnson
These Poems” by June Jordan 
Eve Remembering” by Toni Morrison
Mercy, Mercy, Me” by John Murillo
The Bronze Legacy” by Effie Lee Newsome
Everything That Ever Was” by Tracy K. Smith


Black Writes Now: A Celebration of Black Writers
Friday, June 19
7:00 p.m. (PST)

Hosted by Katherine D. Morgan

BLKFREEDOM.org is a digital destination to commemorate the 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth. Juneteenth dates back to June 19, 1865 when union soldier, Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with the news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were free.

Friday, June 19th
9:00 a.m. PT/ 12:00 p.m. ET

Through educational content, artistic performances, and shareable discussion prompts, this collaborative endeavor explores the meaning and relevance of “Freedom”, “Justice” and “Democracy” in African American life. 

How to Build an Anti-Racist Movement
(Boston Globe)
Friday, June 19
2:00pm — 2:45pm EDT

The protests in response to George Floyd’s killing have raised the nation’s consciousness about the historical legacy of slavery and the deep-seated racism that plagues policing and criminal justice in the United States. The country is poised, perhaps now more than ever, to build a broad anti-racist movement. How will that look, and how can we hasten its progress?

Join Dr. Ibram Kendi, director of the new BU Center for Antiracist Research and best-selling author in conversation with Boston Globe Editorial Page Editor and author Bina Venkataraman on Juneteenth, 2020, the 155th anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States.

Juneteenth Oregon 2020 Celebration
Saturday, June 20
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Juneteenth Oregon’s Celebration will be going Virtual for 2020. Please join us in Celebrating JUNETEENTH 2020
Especially vital in this time of long overdue CHANGE !
with our local jazz, hip hop and soul legends + Community Leaders.

Juneteenth Oregon is a nonprofit organization dedicated to connect and strengthen communities and share knowledge of the history of Juneteenth.This is a community-empowered festival. Learn more and donate at www.juneteenthor.comWatch the event live on Facebook:
facebook.com/juneteenthoregon15 | facebook.com/PDXJazzPortland

Watch the event live on Instagram:
instagram.com/juneteenthor | instagram.com/pdxjazz

The celebration of Juneteenth Oregon dates back to 1945 when the late and beloved community leader, Clara Peoples, introduced the tradition from Muskogee, Oklahoma, to her co-workers at the Kaiser Shipyards in Portland. Upon moving to Portland in 1945, Clara Peoples was surprised to learn that the Juneteenth holiday was unknown in this part of the country.Later Clara helped to initiate Portland’s annual citywide Juneteenth celebration in 1972.

Juneteenth 2020 Teach-In: Blackness in Focus

June 19th
6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Join The Numberz & XRAY in our 4th annual Juneteenth Teach-In to listen and learn from Black Portlanders from business owners to activists to artists and more. 

ALL regularly scheduled programming during this time frame will be preempted. A full schedule for the 2020 Teach-In can be found on the XRAY Blog.

Here’s where you can listen: 
On the Radio: 96.7 FM, 107.1 FM, 91.1 FM
Streaming: thenumberz.fm & xray.fm

Miss Juneteenth (Northwest Film Center)

The Northwest Film Center and the Portland Art Museum present Miss Juneteenth, opening online this Friday, June 19. The debut feature from Channing Godfrey Peoples explores how black women and girls navigate and support each other in a world that often fails them.

Purchase Tickets

XRAY.FM Presents: Minority Retort Juneteenth Live Showcase
Friday, June 19th
7:00 p.m.

Minority Retort, Portland’s premier stand-up comedy series featuring comedians of color, hits the virtual stage for its first ever online showcase! Join host Jason Lamb as he welcomes an amazing lineup of comedians from all across the country for a one-of-kind Juneteenth celebration! All proceeds will go towards Self Enhancement, Inc. providing academic support and comprehensive wraparound services for African American students and their families.


Jack Straw Reading Series
(Jack Straw Cultural Center)
Streaming Live via Facebook on Fridays in June at 7:00 p.m
Hosted by Curator Anastacia-Renée
Friday, June 19
7:00 p.m.
Jeffrey Lee Cheatham II, Arianne True, Jose Trejo-Maya, and Troy Osaki

Literary Power Hour
(Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon)
Thursday, June 25
7:00 p.m.

An entertaining virtual event to raise critical funds for PPAO and Portland African American Leadership Forum Action Fund.

Featured writers: Samiya Bashir, Bella, Claire Rudy Foster, Cheryl Strayed, Lidia Yuknavitch, Reema Zaman, Leni Zumas

Virtual Festivals

Bay Area Book Festival #UNBOUND
#UNBOUND presents notable authors in free, stimulating literary conversations highly relevant for our challenging times. Programs debut on YouTube Premiere with live audience chat, then remain as recordings there and on our site. (Some special ticketed programs include live audience questions to the authors —join their mailing list to find out!)

Watch now: The Witness We Bear: Writer to Writer with Jericho Brown and Nikky Finney (Bay Area Book Festival)

Wisconsin Book Festival
Follow their Crowdcast page for upcoming events and to watch replays of past events.


Stamped from the Beginning – The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Unabridged) by Ibrim X. Kendi
Listen to the entire book for free on Spotify (requires a free Spotify account)

For Kids/ Teens

Free Virtual Summer Workshops for High School Students (Bodecker Foundation)

Led by professional artists, musicians, writers, educators, and designers, these multidisciplinary creative workshops meet via Zoom and include a mix of online group activities and offline individual project work. Registration is open to rising 9th graders through Class of 2020 graduating seniors. Class size is generally limited to 12 students. Follow this link for more information on workshops and how to register.

What We’re Reading

Twelve Minutes and a Life (Runner’s World)
Ahmaud Arbery went out for a jog and was gunned down in the street. How running fails Black America, by Mitchell S. Jackson

Why we need to engage with Black literature beyond racial politics (Harper’s Bazaar)

Want to fix the racial disparity in book advances? Pay assistants more (LA Times)

What Does Pride Mean Now? (New York Times)
From Jericho Brown, Carmen Maria Machado, and Thoman Page McBee.

And more…

Powell’s is donating 30% of all sales made on Juneteenth

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