Celebrate Black Culture at the Juneteenth Jam Vol.3

Justice 4 All Juneteenth Jam Vol.3!


Written by  Sarah Suydam


Returning for its third year is the Justice 4 All Juneteenth Jam, a celebration that centers Black art, entertainment, culture and experiences. Taking place Saturday June 17, 2023 from 1 – 5 p.m. at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids, Juneteenth Jam Vol. 3 is free and open to the public.

The event pays homage to Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day and Emancipation Day. Why June 19? It was on June 19, 1865 that Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended and that those who were enslaved were now free.

The Juneteenth Jam is full of fun for the whole family, including live performances by local artists and DJs, Black-owned business vendors, games for children, an art showcase and more. New for this year’s event is the city’s first Juneteenth Breaking Battle, hosted by Teknique Academy and held to honor of the 50th anniversary of hip hop. Dancers will compete for a $500 grand prize and a top 16 spot in the One-on-One: Midwest Breakin’ Battle, hosted by the One Peace Hip Hop Festival on August 13, where they’ll have a chance at a $2,000 grand prize.

Julius Rogers, organizer of the Juneteenth Jam and owner of apparel company Justice 4 All, was inspired to create the event in 2021 after witnessing how the events of 2020 exacerbated and partially exposed the perpetual injustices and inequities that continue to impact Black and Brown communities.

“Emancipation for Black citizens in the United States of America was not willingly given, it was fought for, and won,” Rogers said. “I believe it is our duty as American citizens to celebrate Juneteenth as a true day of freedom for all. The Justice 4 All Juneteenth Jam offers an inclusive and organized space with activities to allow all to celebrate while intentionally supporting and uplifting the Black community.”

If you were considering attending the event but haven’t in the past, Rogers emphasizes how it’s a great way to immerse yourself in the essence of Black culture in Grand Rapids.

“We really do some intentional work to create an atmosphere that is welcoming for everyone to come out and enjoy themselves,” he said. “I invite you to join Justice 4 All on a journey that may not be easy, but is profoundly necessary in order to continue moving forward.”

Watch a recap of the 2023 event here.

Learn more and follow Justice 4 All on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok at @iwantjustice4all.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published