Juneteenth: Celebrate Freedom

Union Market - Juneteenth text graphic - Celebrate Freedom

This Friday is Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating freedom and marking the emancipation of slaves after the end of the Civil War. In light of the killings of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery, among many others, the significance of Juneteenth resonates more than ever.

 Union Market stands in solidarity with the Black community, and we know that like us, many of you will be commemorating Juneteenth this weekend too—whether through vigils, protests, memorials, celebratory picnics and cookouts, or all of the above.

Here at Union Market, we recognize the important role that food can play in bringing us together and helping us better understand the world, and in that spirit, we’re sharing some traditional recipes in celebration of Juneteenth.

 Although there are a wide range of cultural practices and foods associated with Juneteenth, including lots of classic Southern dishes and traditional picnic fare, the color red often takes prominence as a symbol of strength and resilience. Red drinks have an added significance, as they hearken back to two native West African beverages that are red in color, kola nut tea and bissap (hibiscus tea).

If you’re celebrating Juneteenth with a feast, cookout, or picnic, these delicious recipes will provide ample inspiration. Many of the recipes are part of the Juneteenth Cookout Takeover, an effort by a collective of food bloggers and recipe creators to commemorate the holiday, highlight Black culinary creations and food traditions, and encourage more Americans to celebrate Juneteenth.


Find the full list of Juneteenth Cookout Takeover recipes here.

As Union Market works to better elevate Black voices and support the Black community, we are making contributions to East New York Farms, Black Urban Growers, and Farms to Grow. We have also partnered with #HashtagLunchbag to donate bottled water to help fuel protestors in Brooklyn.

In addition to commemorating Juneteenth, we urge you to join us in educating ourselves about and supporting the following organizations, and many others like them, which are committed to building community and ending racism and injustice in the food system.

A partnership between United Community Centers (UCC) and neighborhood residents in East New York that addresses food justice by promoting local sustainable agriculture and community-led economic development.

Providing community support for urban and rural growers and nurturing Black leadership to ensure that black communities have a seat at the table.

Promoting sustainability and the legacy of Black farmers, supporting the next generation of small farmers, and improving the access of Black farmers to urban food markets such as schools, restaurants, and individual consumers.

A Black-founded service to provide healthy, fresh food and clean, warm clothing to hungry, hurting, and homeless people in Central Brooklyn. 

Advancing land and food sovereignty in the Northeast through permanent and secure land tenure for people of color farmers.

A charitable loan fund that pools money from investors to provide non-extractive loans to Black-owned farming and food businesses in New York State.

A coalition of Black-led organizations cultivating Black leadership, building Black self-determination, and organizing for food sovereignty, land and justice.  

A BIPOC-centered community farm​ ​in Petersburg, NY, committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system and bringing diverse communities together.

Working to ensure that Northern Manhattan schools and communities have access to good food.


 In solidarity,

Union Market