Juneteenth 2024

Brown University celebrates Juneteenth on Wednesday, June 19, noting that the day is a federal holiday and a paid day off for University employees commemorating the news of freedom arriving to the enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued by President Abraham Lincoln. Hopefully, this day off will be used as an opportunity to reflect on the hard-earned progress achieved by those who fought — and continue to fight — for equality while acknowledging the work against racism that still lies ahead.

Brown Physics partnered with JuneteenthRI to inform the physics community about Rhode Island's Juneteenth celebrations. JuneteenthRI's mission is "to collectively celebrate African American liberations, accomplishments, and contributions through education, effective communication, inner strength, and endurance through observance of Juneteenth." Learn more here.

On Wednesday, June 19th, JuneteenthRI presents From Free to Freedom, a play with music, dance and storytelling that celebrates Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of 300 years of the enslavement of African people in America. This special Wonders of the Wurlitzer concert tells the story of Juneteenth and is a pre-event to the 6th Annual Juneteenth RI Festival to be held this year in Downtown Providence at 195 District Park on June 22, 2024, from 12 - 7 PM.

Written and directed by Ricardo Pitts-Wiley of Pawtucket’s Mixed Magic Theatre, From Free to Freedom takes the audience on the journey of a people torn from the lives of family, friends, and traditions in their homelands through the horrors of bondage to freedom, accompanied by PPAC’s rare and historic Mighty Wurlitzer as brought to life by PPAC’s House Organist Peter Edwin Krasinski, and narrated by Jomo Peters and Bernadet V. Pitts-Wiley, with a special appearance by Valerie Tutson of the Rhode Island Black Storytellers.

The show’s musical director, Kim Pitts-Wiley, collaborates with veteran Ricardo Pitts-Wiley to direct some of Rhode Island’s finest singers and actors, including Joyce Brayboy, Jeannie Carson, Matt Fraza, Autumn Jefferson, Donna Osborne, Corinne Pitts-Wiley, Habibah Quddus, Ondrea Robinson, Lauri Smalls, Kim Trusty, Aaliyah Turner, Diane Straker, Denyse Wilhelm, and Gia Yarn.  

This event is free and open to the public. No ticket required.

From Free to Freedom Play banner


Saturday, June 22
12 – 7 PM
Downtown Providence
195 District Park

Enjoy Live Entertainment, Cultural Presentations, Dance, Food, Family and Fun. FREE TO THE PUBLIC

For the past five years, Juneteenth RI has collectively celebrated African American liberations, accomplishments and contributions, inner strength and endurance through the observance of Juneteenth. We are excited and looking forward to this year’s "From Free to Freedom" performance, a dynamic collaboration between PPAC, Mixed Magic Theatre, RI Black Storytellers, that received a standing ovation last year as it took the audience through the emancipating and resilient journey of freedom. This year's performance will be as transformative, uplifting and engaging.

Festival Information
JuneteenthRI Festival Flyer