Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum will offer free admission on Friday, June 19, and use its social media platforms to celebrate Juneteenth.
The oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States, Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19, in recognition of the date in 1865, when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger and his troops landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and the enslaved were free.
This year marks the museum’s fourth annual Juneteenth commemoration, but COVID-19 has forced the event to look different than the previous three. The celebration normally includes a block party on Montgomery Street in front of the museum, complete with live musical performances, vendors and activities for the kids.
“Even though we won’t be able to celebrate in person this Juneteenth, Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum is happy to bring our virtual celebration to visitors,” said Donna Beisel, the museum’s assistant director and K-12 education coordinator. “In addition to our virtual celebration, we will also be offering free admission to the museum on Friday. For the safety of our guests, we will limit our tours to 8 visitors at a time to ensure social distancing is possible.”
Madeline Burkhardt, the museum’s adult education coordinator, said the museum is trying to capture some of the flavor of the previous face-to-face events in a virtual setting.
“We are accepting submissions of music, dance, dramatic readings and other performances that we hope to include in a video that we will share on our social media on Friday,” Burkhardt said. “We also will be sharing Juneteenth-related posts throughout the day.”