Cultural Performances and Noted African American Speakers to Highlight Collaborative Project of BLKFREEDOM.ORG Coalition
Watch this very special program at noon on Friday at BLKFREEDOM.org or on Facebook Live
On June 19, six leading Black museums and historical institutions from coast to coast join forces to launch BLKFREEDOM.org, a digital commemoration of Juneteenth, the day that the Emancipation Proclamation was officially enforced, ending enslavement in Texas.
This timely event features cultural performances from Africa and across America, educational content and appearances by:
Lonnie G. Bunch III, the first African American and first historian to serve as the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, anthropologist, educator, museum director and the first female African American president of Spelman College, the Honorable Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library.
The launch of BLKFREEDOM.org will commemorate the 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth, which dates back to June 19, 1865, when union soldier, Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas, with the news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This announcement was more than two and half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
BLKFREEDOM.org is a combined effort among Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (Detroit, MI), Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park (Hilton Head Island, SC), Northwest African American Museum (Seattle, WA), Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater (Miami, FL), National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, OH) and the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN).
Through educational content, artistic performances and shareable discussion prompt, this collaborative program will explore the meaning and relevance of “freedom”, “justice” and “democracy” in Black American life, from a historical and contemporary framework. To learn more, visit BLKFREEDOM.org.
Michigan’s own Congresswoman Barbara Rose Collins introduced a bill in 1996 to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, legislation which has not been enacted. In her Congressional remarks, she said, “Juneteenth allows us to look back on the past with increased awareness and heightened respect for the strength of the African American men, women and children, who endured unspeakable cruelties in bondage. Out of respect to our ancestors, upon whose blood, sweat, and tears, this great Nation was built, the bill I introduce today acknowledges that African Americans in this country are not truly free, until the last of us are free.”