June 16-18, 2022 marks LANGSTON’s fourth-annual “We Out Here” festival, celebrating Black existence and excellence in the Seattle area. On Saturday, June 18th, In commemoration of Juneteenth, LANGSTON has partnered with Friends of Waterfront Seattle (FWS) to take “We Out Here” to Pier 62 for a larger community celebration.
Otherwise known as Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day, or Black Independence Day, Juneteenth commemorates the day that enslaved people in Texas were emancipated. What began as celebrations across Texas on June 19, 1865 is now a federal holiday observed across the nation.
“More people are aware [of Juneteenth] now that it’s a federal holiday,” said Jazmyn Scott, Director of Programs and Partnerships at LANGSTON. “But it wasn’t something that people were widely aware of… By doing these types of events, we’re bringing more awareness to what Juneteenth is and what it is that we’re actually celebrating.”
This year, LANGSTON’s “We Out Here” event celebrates not only the emancipation of slavery in the U.S., but also honors Black culture and creates space for all people in the community to come together and experience Black brilliance in various forms.
“Friends is excited to once again partner with LANGSTON and offer a welcoming space on Pier 62 for folks to gather, learn, and commemorate Juneteenth, while also honoring the critical contribution to American achievements that is Black culture and brilliance,” said Marie Kidhe, Senior Community Engagement Manager at FWS. “We are humbled to support this vision by LANGSTON and to champion a message of continued liberation and affirmation.”
Scott noted that selecting Pier 62 as the location for this year’s Juneteenth celebration was an intentional effort to extend the Black community’s presence. “I do appreciate the fact that we’re able to do programming and events within our community, but it’s also important for us to move outside of our usual spaces and be a part of this entire city and let everybody know we’re here,” she said. “Hence, We Out Here. We’re here and we’re everywhere and we deserve to be everywhere, not just limited to one space or one area.”
The event will run from 2-6 p.m. and feature music and live performances from JusMoni, Stas Thee Boss, TAQUEET$!, The Mahogany Project and Larry Mizell Jr., as well as spotlights on local Black businesses. Food trucks will be present at the event with southern comforts from Dat Creole Soul and Paparepas, and attendees can indulge their sweet tooth with treats from All City Ice Cream and The Donut Mama.
“More so than being a spotlight on LANGSTON, it’s really a spotlight on artists, creators, and people that are doing amazing things in our community,” Scott said. “We want to uplift those people.”
In partnership with Washington’s Department of Health, walk-up COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots will be provided for both adults and children. Free parking will be available at the Pike Place Market Garage with vouchers from select waterfront businesses found at seattlewaterfront.org.
More information about LANGSTON’s “We Out Here” Juneteenth celebration can be found on the events page at www.langstonseattle.org.