FREE in-person, drop-in program
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas, origin in 1865, the observance of African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.
Today, Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and, in some areas, a month marked with celebrations, presentations, picnics, and family gatherings. Juneteenth is a time for reflection and rejoicing, and for looking to the future.
Drop-in at the NC Museum of History for an afternoon of activities inspired by the national holiday. Meet members of the Battery B Second Regiment, US Colored Light Artillery Civil War reenactors, as they reveal the legacy of the courageous soldiers in the struggle for freedom and citizenship during the American Civil War. Visit museum exhibits, and watch Neal Thomas make split-oak baskets, like those used by families at early Juneteenth celebrations.
We will also be screening a new documentary film from PBSNC titled George Henry White: Searching for Freedom.
The 30-minute documentary film will be screened in Daniels Auditorium at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is free.
The historical biographical film chronicles the career of African American US congressman George H. White, whose last term in Congress ended in 1901 after the disenfranchisement of African Americans across North Carolina.
White’s final words to Congress predicted that African Americans would one day return to its halls despite the onset of the Jim Crow era. President Barack Obama recognized White’s accomplishments in a 2009 speech that brought the congressman’s legacy back into the spotlight. White’s rise to political leadership and his remarkable career are well known to historians, but his story has been largely left out of the mainstream historical narrative.
North Carolina historians and authors Crystal R. Sanders, Earl Ijames, David S. Cecelski, and Benjamin R. Justensen appear in the film.
Historian Earl Ijames and the film’s director, Mike O’Connell, will introduce the film and participate in a Q&A session after the screening. All are welcome to this timely event presented by the NC Museum of History in honor of Juneteenth.