The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is hosting a multi-day lineup of events to celebrate Juneteenth later this month.
Juneteenth, held each year on June 19, is a celebration in African American communities of the end of slavery in the United States, as well as of Black culture, Black resilience and true independence. In honor of the holiday, the Freedom Center will have a variety of programming and special events for the community, including an evening of live music and poetry performances, a conversation on Black empowerment and film screenings.
“Juneteenth is such an impactful day, not only historically, but year after year as we continue to celebrate and pursue the promise of freedom this nation was founded on,” Woodrow Keown Jr., president and COO of the Freedom Center, said in a press release. “We invite the community to join us for this weekend of celebration, and to rediscover why Juneteenth is a living history of a promise fulfilled and yet unfinished.”
Freedom Center’s Juneteenth events include:
Black Empowerment Works: Fueling Black Futures & Honoring Black History
1:30-3 p.m. Saturday, June 10
A panel of local experts will discuss United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Black Empowerment program, which promotes Black-led efforts to cultivate social mobility, generational wealth and self-determination. The discussion will also include the history and future of Black excellence. The panel is free, but registration is required.
Juneteenth: The Galveston Story Screenings
2 p.m. Friday-Monday, June 16-19
The Gavelston Story is a documentary exploring the roots of Juneteenth and the story of Galveston, Texas, becoming the birthplace of true freedom in the country. Screenings will be held in the Harriet Tubman Theater and are included in the cost of admission.
SPEAKFREELY: A Juneteenth Evening at the Museum
6:30-10 p.m. Saturday, June 17
A speakeasy-themed party featuring original and classic jazz, R&B and blues hits from Destiny L and her band, Chasing Dreams, and music from DJ Guy Wes and a tribute to 50 years of hip-hop. Local artists will be sharing spoken-word poetry and stories on reflections of freedom and the Black experience. Tickets ($10 for members; $20 for non-members) include access to the museum’s exhibits, light bites and a cash bar with complimentary whiskey tastings by Uncle Nearest, whiskey inspired by Nathan Nearest Green, a formerly enslaved man who taught the craft of distilling to a young Jack Daniel.
Fifth Third Community Day
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, June 19
Guests can enjoy free admission to the Freedom Center on Juneteenth, where they can take part in a community art project. There will also be a DJ playing Afrobeats and social and emotional learning workshops for kids. Registration is recommended.
Food, Tradition and Wellness with Dr. Jessica B. Harris
6-9 p.m. Thursday, June 22
In this program, New York Times bestselling author Dr. Jessica B. Harris explores the foodways of the African Diaspora, from the arrival of enslaved Africans in the early 1600s to now as part of the Freedom Center’s Freedom Food Initiative. The event is free, but registration is required.
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