Northwest African American Museum announces week’s lineup for June 2021

Today, the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) announced a strong roster of community-focused programs as part of its June week celebration. Starting June 13 and ending June 21, NAAM’s June Week features nine days of dynamic educational programming for people of all ages. Featured events include both in-person activations at various locations in Seattle, as well as publicly accessible online events anywhere.

NAAM’s Week 2021 celebration comes just after Washington became the nation’s sixth state and the first in the Northwest to pledge to observe June as a paid day off for state employees. This recognition sends a strong message and will allow the state to continue to serve as a national leader in the recognition, education and celebration of a more inclusive American history.

“Each year, the Northwest African American Museum commemorates June 19 with family activities that help us remember and reflect on our shared past,” said LaNesha DeBardelaben, President and CEO of NAAM. “This year, with nine days of programming and the world premiere of our new African-American cultural ensemble, NAAM makes Juneteenth mean even more for our times today.”

As part of its June 15 celebrations, NAAM is launching the African-American Cultural Ensemble (ACE), the first African-American choir organized and hosted by an African-American museum. ACE aims to inspire hope and healing through the musical arts of black gospel. The inaugural performance will take place on June 15 at the virtual event “Juneteenth: Lift Every Voice,” which is a collaboration between NAAM and nine other African American history and culture museums in communities across the country. The commemorative program will celebrate the victory and freedom of the African American people.

NAAM’s Week 2021 celebration is sponsored by Amazon, with additional support from local sports teams, arts institutions and businesses.

NAAM’s June 2021 week lineup includes:

NAAM Interactive Story Time: Singing a Song

Sunday June 13 | 13h00 | VIRTUAL

In partnership with Seattle Sounders FC + Rave Foundation

Join NAAM to read aloud its culturally relevant new story. Former Seattle Sounders FC player and broadcast analyst Steve Zakuani will read Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice and Sing Inspired Generations by Kelly Starling Lyons, followed by an interactive art session led by Teddy ‘Stat’ Phillips. The art will be on display in the Seattle Sounders FC & Rave Foundation’s Objectives for Art program. All families in need of art supplies can reserve them here and pick them up on Saturday, June 12, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Pick-up details will be shared on the NAAM website.

Watch Interactive Storytime live on NAAM’s YouTube channel.

The History and Future of Juneteenth: Annette Gordon-Reed with Marcus Harrison Green

Monday June 14 | 7:30 p.m. | VIRTUAL

In partnership with Seattle City Hall

In conversation with South Seattle Emerald editor Marcus Harrison Green, Harvard history professor Annette Gordon-Reed “weaves American history, dramatic family chronicle and burning episodes of memories” into her book , On Juneteenth. In this book, she chronicles the origins of Juneteenth and the tremendous hardships African Americans have endured since then, and explains how since the first black presence in Texas, African Americans have played a pivotal role in the history of the country. ‘State. She argues that the slavery and race-based economy not only defined the turbulent era of Texas independence, but actually caused the Mexican-American and Civil Wars.

Tickets ($ 5 each) for this virtual event can be purchased here.

Juneteenth: Lift up every voice

Tuesday June 15 | 6 p.m. VIRTUAL

In partnership with the BlkFreedom & T-Mobile collective

Ten black museums are joining forces – within the BlkFreedom collective – to virtually commemorate Juneteenth’s 156th anniversary. Each museum has selected a theme from the black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to guide their short video contribution. As part of the program, NAAM will launch its African American Cultural Ensemble (ACE), which will explore the theme of hope through a multimedia performance by Ooh Child made popular by Five Stairsteps.

In partnership with the BlkFreedom collective, the T-Mobile Foundation has sponsored more than 7,900 books as part of NAAM’s Knowledge is Power Book Giveaway, which provides free books celebrating black culture to students in Kindergarten to Grade 12. The books will be distributed in the 10 museums of the BlkFreedom collective as well as in five other places nationwide. NAAM will distribute these books as part of its Juneteenth Youth Night on June 17th and at the Juneteenth Jamboree on June 19th.

Learn more and connect to this special virtual program on

Carol Anderson, The second event of the book with Christopher Sebastian Parker

Wednesday June 16 | 5:00 p.m. | VIRTUAL

In partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company

White Rage historian and award-winning bestselling author Carol Anderson will talk about his book, The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America. In The Second, Anderson powerfully illuminates the history and impact of the Second Amendment, how it was designed, and how it has always been built to keep African Americans powerless and vulnerable. She will participate in a conversation with University of Washington political science professor and author Christopher Sebastian Parker.

Tickets (free with special NAAM code Juneteenth2021 or $ 31 for Zoom admission and a shipped book) for this virtual event can be purchased here.

ELEVATION (v.) Raise or lift to a higher position

Wednesday June 16 | 6.30 p.m. | VIRTUAL

In partnership with Seattle Theater Group + more

ELEVATE is a community showcase of black and brown voices that elevate each other through the art of oral creation. This event will feature raw, daring and breathtaking performances from our young people, local historians and unsung heroes, followed by a community conversation.

Register here to attend this free virtual conversation.

Youth Night of June 17

Thursday June 17th | 8 p.m. TRAINING

To celebrate the 2021 graduates, NAAM will be hosting a graduation drive to Lumen Field North Lot as part of the Youth Night of the Week in June 2021. This event will celebrate graduates from Kindergarten to College. Youth Night will also recognize the accomplishments of the 2020 NAAM Dr Carver Gayton Youth Curator for the incredible work they have done in the midst of a pandemic. Immediately after the celebration, families can enjoy a drive-in.

Submissions for Graduate Highlights, which will be shown on the big screen, will be accepted here until June 10.

Register here for the drive-in and movie celebration at Lumen Field North Lot.

Collective of artists of June 17, 2021

Friday June 18 | 19h | VIRTUAL

In partnership with Space Needle & Chihuly Garden and Glass + more

NAAM partnered with the Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Committee of Space Needle & Chihuly Garden and Glass, One Vibe Africa and Wa Na Wari to celebrate Juneteenth by raising the voice of black and African American artists in Seattle to through a virtual show. Two artists or groups of artists in four categories, including poetry / the written word, music, dance and visual arts, will perform. The top entries in each category will also receive a $ 500 Visa gift card and an invitation to participate in the Juneteenth Jamboree hosted by NAAM on June 19.

Watch on NAAM’s YouTube channel.

Jamboree of June 17

Saturday June 19 | 12h | IN PERSON

In partnership with City of Seattle Parks & Rec: Rec’N The Streets, Amazon + more

The Northwest African American Museum and Rec’N The Streets (City of Seattle Parks & Rec) present the Juneteenth Jamboree. Full of family fun, recreation and activities from local professional sports teams including the Sounders, Seahawks, Mariners and Storm, it will be a June 15th celebration you won’t forget!

NAAM’s Juneteenth Jamboree will present:

Live shows

Live story time

Knowledge is a book of power

COVID-19 vaccinations and education

Blood pressure screening and mental health tools

Seattle Buffalo Soldiers live demonstrations, education and horseback rides

· Food, music and more!

Additional details are available on the NAAM website.

Knowledge is power: BlkFreedom

Sunday June 20 | 1:30 p.m. | IN PERSON

In partnership with Comcast NBC Universal and the Carl Maxey Center

NAAM joins the Carl Maxey Center in Spokane to celebrate the grand opening of its newly renovated community center and for their Juneteenth celebration. NAAM will distribute books to youth in the region through its popular Knowledge is Power Book Giveaway program.

Each month, NAAM delivers new, culturally relevant books to local children in Kindergarten to Grade 12 at family-friendly and school-friendly youth events within the community. These carefully selected books, most of which are written and illustrated by black authors and artists, teach children about the rich history of black Americans. They also center, mirror, and affirm black children.

This event will take place in Spokane, WA.

NAAM + Black Music Month Monday Juneteenth Encore Program: THE E RATIO: Entertainment vs Education

Monday June 21 | 6 p.m. VIRTUAL

In partnership with Elliott Bay and Wa Na Wari

Paul Porter is an engaging speaker and entertainment industry veteran empowering students to change their behaviors from consuming social media and entertainment to education. Author of the critically acclaimed book BlackOut, Paul Porter reveals the true nature and motivations of music broadcast on radio and television. Porter shares his first-hand experiences with in-depth insight as an insider and decision maker at the highest levels in the industry. A thought leader in the radio and music industry, he is a leading music, race and culture expert for major media outlets like CNN, MSNBC, Entertainment Tonight, FOX News, Billboard and Rolling Stone.

More details about the event will be available soon on

NAAM’s June week programming is part of the museum’s Year of Excellence and Resilience 2021, a year-long celebration of black achievement designed to raise black voices and provide the public with the opportunity to be creatively engage with Black history, art and culture. For more information on NAAM’s upcoming events, programs and initiatives, visit

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