May 30, 2012
Annual Juneteenth Celebration June 14-16
Charlottesville, VA - The 12th annual community Juneteenth celebration hosted by Piedmont Virginia Community College will be held Thursday through Saturday, June 14-16. All Juneteenth events are free and open to the public.
Dating back to 1865, Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. In recent years, Juneteenth has enjoyed a growing interest from communities and organizations across the nation. Virginia is one of 26 states officially observing Juneteenth.
The celebration begins Thursday, June 14, with "The Glorious March to Liberty: From Virginia to Texas," a lecture by Hari Jones, assistant director and curator of the African-American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation and Museum. This event begins at 6 p.m. in Charlottesville City Council Chambers (City Hall on the Downtown Mall at 7th and East Main Streets).
Events at PVCC begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 15, with a Tribute to the Ancestors featuring drumming and musical and spoken-word performances. The tribute will take place in the lakeside amphitheater on the College grounds behind the V. Earl Dickinson Building. Participants are encouraged to wear white or African clothing for this event. Following the tribute, South African dance company Lesole Dance Project will perform in the Main Stage Theatre. A public reception follows.
On Saturday, June 16, activities are planned in and around the Dickinson Building from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. In keeping with this year's Juneteenth theme, "The Pull of Home," the community is encouraged to bring a picnic to enjoy on the PVCC grounds or purchase food and drink from vendors on site.
The day's activities will include:
- Virtual tour of Monticello's Mulberry Row
- Performance by the African Lighthouse Baptist Temple Choir
- Civil War-era children's games with Denise Benedetto
- Historical re-enactments including Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass
- Presentations by Alex-Zan, Rheva Williams, Charles White, Rev. Ralph Brown and the Buffalo Soldiers on horseback
- Queen Charlotte and the History of Charlottesville, presented by the Dialogue on Race
- A tribute to Women of Glory by Birdell Fleming
- Poetry of Paul Lawrence Dunbar and Langston Hughes by Darnell Walker
- Storytelling by The Dream Lady (Arlene Carter)
- Health screenings, voter registration, community organizations, food, vendors and fun for all ages
Juneteenth programs are designed to provide unique and enriching learning experiences for the whole family, including authentic historical reenactments of plantation life and hands-on activities for children.