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  • Cathy O’Connor

Juneteenth Celebrations Important to Oklahoma City’s Culture

Representatives from The Alliance attend the oNE OKC street festival

Left, Geoff Butler, of the OKC Planning Department visits with a citizen in the The Alliance's "Building Tomorrow" tent at the oNE OKC festival. Right, Dr. Quinton Hughes, Elizabeth Larios of The Alliance, Councilwoman Nikki Nice and County Commissioner Carrie Blumert enjoy the oNE OKC festival on June 8.

Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas, and more generally, the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and the creation of the 13th Amendment.

It’s an important observation for Oklahoma City and there are a couple of upcoming events that celebrate the contributions of black Americans in our city and country as a whole.

Celebrating the history, traditions and contributions of our friends and neighbors is an important part of strengthening Oklahoma City’s unity and sense of community.

The annual Juneteenth Arts & Music Celebration will be held Saturday, June 15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Douglass Park. This family-friendly event is free and open to the public. The event will feature artwork and live music from local and national talent, games and contests, food trucks and vendors.

On Tuesday, June 18, at 7 p.m., the Oklahoma Historical Society will host acclaimed journalist Carmen Fields at the Oklahoma History Center. This “Inside the Actors Studio”-style interview will be conducted by Oklahoma City journalist Joyce Jackson. The event is free to the public, but donations will be accepted to benefit the Shirley Ballard Nero Endowment. Tulsa native Carmen Fields earned a bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University and studied at Boston University and Harvard University. As a reporter and columnist for the Boston Globe, she was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of Boston’s school desegregation.

Join in activities like these and help make Oklahoma City stand taller in our unity and respect for each other. Learn more about what we gain individually and as a community by preserving cultures, history, talent and traditions in our city.

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