GREENSBORO, N.C., – The International Civil Rights Center & Museum will host its first Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 19, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The special all day programming will commemorate Juneteenth and honor Black Music Month. Admission for the event is $6.
The Museum will offer family-friendly activities including: Children’s Storytelling Hour with jazz pianist and composer Turner Battle, as well as special musical performances by Gospel recording artist Hazel Brown and R&B recording artist Bertha Young-Poteat. The Praise Warriors, a young, all male mime ministry from St. James Presbyterian Church, will also deliver creative messages of faith, fellowship and freedom.
Celebrating its 145th anniversary, Juneteenth is the oldest, national commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to the year the Civil War ended, it was on June 19, 1865, that Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were free — two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
“Since its inception, this day has been important, and its observance has even expanded nationally,” said Bamidele Demerson, executive director and curator for the International Civil Rights Center & Museum. “The celebration at the Museum allows us, as a community, to come together in remembrance of freedom from the tumultuous times of Civil War to the liberating era of Civil Rights.”
In tribute to the African American contributions made to the nation’s cultural arts, June is also recognized as Black Music Month. Originally designated in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter and later becoming a formal declaration in 2002 by President George W. Bush, this observance continues to be annually recognized worldwide, highlighting legendary musicians, composers and singers for their styles of rhythm and blues, jazz, pop, rock, gospel and more.
“African Americans have greatly influenced the various genres of music in America for hundreds of years,” said Demerson. “In recognition of these two observances, we explore how music conveys the spirit of resistance and love of liberty.”
Following the musical performances, those attending the celebration will enjoy traditional culinary delights associated with Juneteenth. The International Civil Rights Center & Museum is located at 134 S. Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C. Admission to the Juneteenth and Black Music Month event is $6 for adults, seniors and students and $4 for children.
For more information, visit www.sitinmovement.org or call (336) 274-9199.
Juneteenth and Black Music Month Schedule of Events:
Saturday, June 19, 2010 – International Civil Rights Center & Museum
11:00 a.m. Children’s Storytelling Hour
Turner Battle, jazz pianist and composer, will read Juneteenth Jamboree by Carole Boston Weatherford
1:15 p.m. Special Performance
Praise Warriors, a young male mime ministry, St. James Presbyterian Church
1:30 p.m. Poetry Reading
Clement Mallory, poet, teacher and community activist
2:00 p.m. Special Performance
Daystar Liturgical Dancers, St. Matthews United Methodist Church
2:30 p.m. Musical Performances
Hazel Brown, Gospel recording artist
Jay Bird, Soul Central
Turner Battle, jazz pianist
Bertha Young-Poteat, R&B recording artist
RoKeya Worthy, Assistant Account Executive