About half of the states nationwide observe Juneteenth, a time-honored celebration of freedom and racial equality. For the 12th year running, Charlottesville is recognizing the important day in African American history with an entire weekend of events.
Juneteenth dates back to 1865 and is one of the oldest celebrations marking the end of slavery.
This year's event in Charlottesville will be filled with a number of performances and presentations.
A lecture co-hosted by Dialogue On Race will kickoff the event. The speaker is Hari Jones, curator of the African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation and Museum. Jones will talk about the hundreds of thousands of African American soldiers who fought in the Civil War, and what role they played in it. The talk titled "The Glorious March to Liberty: From Virginia to Texas" begins at 6 P.M. in City Hall. It is free and open to the public.
Juneteenth continues with a showcase of African drumming, poetry, and community fellowship. That will take place at the Lakeside Amphitheater behind the Dickinson Building at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Anyone coming out for that is encouraged to wear white clothing or traditional African garb. That starts at 5:30 P.M. on Friday.
Activities, displays, and presentations will continue through Saturday at the Dickinson Building. That includes a community picnic and a virtual tour of Mulberry Row at Monticello. That runs from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.
Dannika Lewis joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in June 2010. She started her ventures in broadcast news at Elon University where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story