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LIST | Events to celebrate Juneteenth in Kentuckiana

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the US. News of the Emancipation Proclamation reached slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, declaring slaves who lived in Confederate states free. However, two years went by before the news reached Blacks living in Texas.

When Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, Black Texans found out slavery was abolished.

The year after, it would go on to become a day of celebration, fellowship, food and lots of prayer which spread to other states as an annual tradition.

Here are a list of events where the day is being celebrated in Kentucky and southern Indiana. 

Monday, June 14

Juneteenth Lecture Series: A long time coming

University of Louisville

Student Activities Center (SAC), Ballroom

2100 S. Floyd Street

Noon – 1:30 p.m.

It’s the inaugural series featuring a keynote address by Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry and co-moderators Dr. Ricky Jones and Dr. Brigitte Burpo.

This event requires registration for either in-person or virtual. Click here for more information.

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Tuesday, June 15

Learning Café: Juneteenth – The cost of independence. The history of what it really means to be free

University of Louisville

Noon – 1 p.m. 

This discussion will focus on the importance of Juneteenth and why it’s recognized. 

Lamont Collins, who recently celebrated the grand opening of the Roots 101 African American Museum, will lead the discussion and why Juneteenth matters. 

This is a virtual event. 

Click here for more information and how to register.

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Thursday, June 17th

Juneteenth Speaker Series: Black Mental Health with Teah Williams-Hampton

The Floyd County Library's Auditorium

180 W Spring St, New Albany, IN 47150 

5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

The conversation will explore the future of Black mental health and learn the tools for breaking the chains of racial trauma. Hampton, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist will help attendees utilize their strengths and experiences to heal, grow and change unhealthy patterns so they can learn to live their best lives.

Registration is required for this free event. Register online at: https://nafclibrary.libcal.com/event/7738251

Refreshments will be served at 5:30 PM. 

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Friday and Saturday, June 18th and 19th 

Anatomy of a Black Man

3:30 p.m.

Black Lives Matter – Louisville headquarters

3900 West Broadway

“An impressive and contemporary literary work performed by an extraordinary cast, the play was written and hosted by Louisville native and prolific writer, Estella Conwill Majozo and directed by beat poet, rAmu Aki.”

Admission is free and open to the public

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Saturday, June 19th

“A 502 Juneteenth Celebration Community Bike Ride”

Hosted by A’dia Mathies, cyclists will travel 6.19-miles in honor of “our history, our herstory, and now our future.” There will be a bike giveaway and other prizes. Cyclists will meet up at Wyandotte Park located on Beecher Street at noon. For more information, click here.

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Juneteenth Celebration: Liberation Through Arts & Culture

All Nations Worship Assembly

1628 West Market Street

11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It’s a celebration in the Russell neighborhood! Russell: A Place of Promise is exploring liberation through arts, culture and storytelling. There will be activities, performances, art vendors and free food.

For more information, click here

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MELANnaire Marketplace

4th Street Live

Noon to 7 p.m.

This event takes place every third Saturday in the month but in June, it's all about Juneteenth. There will be 50 Black-owned businesses, live entertainment, shopping, speakers and community resources. .

Click here for more information.

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Juneteenth: Past, Present and Future

Roots 101: African American Museum

12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

During this event, there will be an unveiling of the first (Un)Known Project Public Art Installation on the banks of the Ohio River. Officials said it collaborated with the Frazier Museum and Louisville Metro for several years on the project that will use public art installations and experiences to support Louisville in its current efforts in dealing with racism and inequity.

There will be a walk along the river, the (Un)Known Project site dedication and Libation Ceremony overlooking the river at 1:30 p.m.

For more information, click here

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Celebrating Juneteenth Day at the Oldham County History Center

106 North 2nd Avenue

La Grange, Kentucky

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The History Center’s commemoration of Juneteenth will include a cemetery walk at the Historic African American Cemetery in La Grange, a showing of Kentucky Ancestors Town Hall featuring OCHC volunteer Ruby Diane Booker and a presentation from Morris Mount Roberts Fellow Robert Bell who will discuss research and identification of 209 African American Union Civil War Soldiers from Oldham County.

10 a.m. – noon: Children's Activities at the Dahlgren Barn

10 a.m. – 10: 45 a.m.: Cemetery Walk at the Historic African American Cemetery (pre-registration required)

11 a.m.: Kentucky Ancestors Town Hall viewing in Rob Morris Chapel

11:45 a.m.: Robert Bell Presentation: Tracing the Roots of Oldham County's 209 Black Union Soldiers

12:30 p.m.: Reception on Lawn, weather permitting

This event is free to the public, pre-registration for cemetery walk is required by calling (502) 222-0826.

For more information, click here.

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The Community Collective

The 2nd Annual Juneteenth - It's Still a Celebration

Shawnee Park Pavillion

2 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

It's the second year for the event and it will celebrate the Black community and will feature vendors, food, performances and fellowship with community members.

For more information, click here.  

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Juneteenth Celebration

Floyd County Library - 180 W Spring St, New Albany, Ind.

10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

The library is hosting an event with live music and entertainment, crafts and refreshments. The event will begin with a ribbon-cutting of the library's new mural painted by Jaylin Stewart.

For more information, click here.

Black Complex’s Louisville Juneteenth Festival ‘21

Black Complex Louisville is hosting a Juneteenth festival-- from 3pm to 9pm at Waterfront Park in Louisville. It will feature 30 Black-owned businesses, including vendors, food trucks, live concerts, poetry slam, kid zone, giveaways, FREE Covid vaccinations on-site, mental health resources and so much more. 

Music accompaniment will be provided by DJ Cyn, DJ Steele, and DJ Legit. All are welcomed to celebrate blackness, bring blankets and lawn chairs, pro-black attire, or pan African colors are encouraged.

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Previous coverage on Juneteenth