Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum will hold its annual Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18, featuring live performances throughout the day, local vendors and free admission to the museum.
The free event will take place in the 200 block of Montgomery Street, which runs in front of the museum, and will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Observed annually on June 19, Juneteenth is the oldest known commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, commemorating the date in 1865 when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger and his troops landed at Galveston Texas with the news that the Civil War had ended and the enslaved were free. In 2021, President Joe Biden signed legislation declaring Juneteenth as a federal holiday.
“The Rosa Parks Museum is honored and excited to once again host our annual Juneteenth community event. This will be our seventh celebration recognizing Juneteenth, and we were pleased that, in 2021, it became recognized as a federal holiday,” said Donna Beisel, the museum’s assistant director. “We look forward to members of the local community, as well as visitors, coming together for this time of celebration.”
The museum is partnering with NaNa Music Productions to provide performers throughout the day, culminating with the headlining act Leroy Bodiford and Friends.
In addition to food, merchandise and service vendors, the event will also feature a kids’ area and arts and crafts activities, and the 1950s-era Montgomery city bus and a 1960s-era Greyhound bus, provided by the Freedom Rides Museum, will be on display for visitors. DJ at Large will also be providing musical entertainment throughout the day and Kory Ward will serve as the event’s emcee.
The Juneteenth weekend will also be the final days of the Watchfires exhibit in the museum’s gallery, featuring the work of artist V.L. Cox.
Leading up to the celebration, the Miss Juneteenth Scholarship Pageant will be held in the auditorium of the Rosa Parks Museum at 7 p.m. on June 10. The pageant provides a platform for young ladies and girls of color to showcase their beauty, find inspiration and embrace sisterhood while gaining cultural awareness. Pageant winners will be recognized during the museum’s Juneteenth celebration. For additional information about the pageant, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 334-293-1030.
The museum is also partnering with the Capri Theatre to present the 2017 documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” at 7 p.m. on June 16 at the Capri. The film by Raoul Peck drew on the unfinished manuscript of the late James Baldwin to begin a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present Black Lives Matter movement cast against the backdrop of the assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tickets can be purchased online at www.capritheatre.org.
For additional information about the museum or the Juneteenth celebration, call 334-241-8615.