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Kentucky Center for African American Heritage celebrates Juneteenth through song, storytelling

The center is going to host The Fannie Lou Hamer Story and the Juneteenth & Father's Day Jazz Brunch.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — With Juneteenth and Father's Day around the corner, the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage has been working on something special to commemorate both holidays.

The KCAAH is going to have the Juneteeth Heritage Experience that will consist of two events: The Fannie Lou Hamer Story and the Juneteenth & Father's Day Jazz Brunch. 

The Fannie Lou Hamer Story celebrates the life and legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer, an unsung hero who had a huge influence on the passage of the Voter's Rights Act of 1965. The show will be on Saturday, June 17 from 8 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. 

“This one-woman show brings Hamer's story to life as they celebrate through song and storytelling," Aukram Burton, executive director for the KCAAH, said.

“She was the mother of voter rights registration during the Jim Crow era, and was so important in educating and elevating those," Marjorie Marshall, visitor experience coordinator for the KCAAH, said about Hamer's legacy. "Some were not aware of how important the vote was, and what needed to be done in order to get the vote in."

On Sunday, the KCAAH continues the celebration with fathers in mind. Burton says the center will host a Juneteenth & Father's Day Jazz Brunch, featuring the Ansyn Banks Legacy Quintet. The brunch will be on Sunday, June 18 at 2 p.m.

This will be your last opportunity to see an exhibit that closes out the end of Juneteenth featuring artists from as far away as Trinidad, Cuba, and the Virgin Islands.

"Artisans came together, musicians, poets, you name it. They created a counter narrative about who we are [and] who we were. And then you go to the 1960s, and you have the Black Arts Movement. So artists have always been at the center of our struggle, and it's helped us to move forward. That's what this exhibit is about," Aukram said.

This weekend will be full of history lessons translated through acting, singing, and remembering the past as we celebrate the possibilities heading into the future.

“I think that any chance we can get to celebrate things that we struggled for, we should take advantage of [it]," Burton said. "However, Juneteenth was about the abolition of slavery and I really think that's an important thing for us to recognize and celebrate.”

Burton invites everyone to stop by the KCAAH, especially if you've never visited it before. It's located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.  

►Contact WHAS11’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

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