Celebrate Juneteenth by bike in Portland

Photos from 2020 Black Liberation Ride by Ebony Hall for BikePortland. Poster art by Jarren Smith/FINE.

This Saturday is Juneteenth, a newly-named official state holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States, and there are a lot of ways to celebrate by bike.

The headline event is the annual Black Liberation Ride, back after its huge success last year. “So much has happened since the 2020 ride, and this ride will be centered around community, BIPOC allyship, and taking up space together on Portland streets,” writes ride organizer Stephen Marea. “We rolled so deep last year and it is time to make the ground shake again.” Marea (stay tuned for more from him here on the front page) also wants folks to know that the ride is only for, “Black riders and POC [people of color] allies.”

If the ride isn’t your thing, roll on down to the North Park Blocks where the Vanport Mosaic Festival have put together the “History Is Now” exhibit as part of the City of Portland’s public plaza program. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the history of the Vanport neighborhood and the flood that wiped it out 73 years ago. The exhibit features educational storefront window displays, free zines from the Zine Machine, and more.


Albina Vision plans for Saturday.

One your way to or from the North Park Blocks, take a slow ride up North Williams Avenue and stop at the signs that are part of the Historic Black Williams Avenue Art Installation. And don’t forget to swing a few blocks west once you get to North Going Street where you’ll find a cool hidden path with a wonderful mural that shares words and images of the lives and struggles of Black Portlanders.

If you need a rest from the road, get comfortable and join the Juneteenth Teach-in Workshop hosted by Albina Vision Trust (10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday). This event will give you a deeper understanding of the rich history of the Albina neighborhood — “the heart of Portland’s Black community for many generations” before it was paved over for parking lots and a freeway.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and
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