Three-day Juneteenth celebration offers song, dance and remembrance

Juneteenth logo with chains and words

The Alachua County Library District will commemorate the 154th Juneteenth with a three-day celebration featuring entertainers, artists and scholars Friday, June 14-Sunday, June 16.

Juneteenth marks the abolition of slavery on June 19, 1865, in Texas and celebrates the wider emancipation of enslaved African Americans. The Library District will recognize this year’s anniversary with programs celebrating African and African American culture through movement, art and storytelling. All Juneteenth programs are free and open to the public.

Friday, June 14 at Library Partnership Branch, 912 NE 16th Ave., Gainesville

11 a.m.-5 p.m. – The celebration will spotlight teens with an outdoor art exhibit from Turbado Marabou, teen empowerment presentation and music, plus a documentary screening at this East Gainesville branch.

Saturday, June 15 at Cone Park Branch, 2801 E University Ave., Gainesville

11 a.m.-3 p.m. – Cone Park’s program will feature a storytelling program with Turbado Marabou, spoken word and dance performance by Ariel Dykes and balloon art. Dr. Vincent Adejumo from University of Florida’s Department of African American Studies will lead a discussion on the history of Juneteenth. Ongoing activities will include arts and crafts, plus an escape room for teens.

Sunday, June 16 at Headquarters Branch, 401 E. University Ave., Gainesville

1-4 p.m. – Juneteenth festivities will conclude with this storytelling and music event. The day starts with Turbado Marabou sharing folk tales, drumming and African dance, followed by a praise dance performance from Desiree Moody. Local poet E. Stanley Richardson will perform a reading of Frederick Douglas’ work. Dr. Ashley Robertson Preston from the University of Florida’s Department of African American Studies will share a brief presentation on the history of Juneteenth.