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State College, Penn State To Celebrate Juneteenth With Slate Of Events

A full slate of events in State College and at Penn State this weekend will celebrate Juneteenth, which marks the emancipation of the last remaining enslaved African Americans on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth was named a national holiday Thursday, becoming the first occasion to receive the honor since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was made a federal holiday back in 1983.

Juneteenth will be celebrated for the second straight year in State College at Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza on the corner of Fraser Street and Beaver Avenue. Celebrations from 1 to 2:30 p.m. include live music and performances, free food and dance, and a showing of the documentary, “District Greenwood: The Amalgamated People,” followed by a discussion with the film’s creators at 3 p.m. at 3 Dots Downtown.

The film is an accurate retelling of the Tulsa bombings that occurred from May 31 to June 1 in 1921. The attacks were focused on Black communities and Black-owned businesses in the Greenwood district in Tulsa, Okla. The film recounts success stories of Black entrepreneurs and highlights “Black Wall Street”, a successful hub of Black-owned businesses during the time of the Tulsa bombings.

Saturday afternoon’s festivities are being hosted by State College’s NAACP Chapter (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), which was founded in 2019.

There will also be events preceding Juneteenth on Friday, June 18. A “Juneteenth Jubilee” will be celebrated in Sidney Friedman Park to recognize local Black leaders, educators, artists, organizations, and Black-owned businesses. Food, live performances, and remarks from local leaders and politicians can also be found at the event, which will start at 6 pm. The jubilee is hosted by Tierra Williams and Latisha Franklin, the respective host of “Black Tea” and founder of Gratified Grad LLC.

The celebrations will continue into Sunday, June 21 with a “Community Connection” event held by Williams and Franklin at Sidney Friedman Park at 5 p.m. According to a press release, this event aims to connect Black community members through conversation.

Penn State University Libraries will also commemorate the holiday this weekend. They have compiled a number of books, articles, films, artifacts, exhibits, and more that promote unity and dismantling racism through education and dialogue.

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About the Author

Charles Reinert

Charles Reinert is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. He's from Norristown, PA and enjoys a good slice of pepperoni pizza and a brisk fall afternoon. He can be found either yelling at the Eagles through the TV during football season or playing his guitar. If you have any questions for him or want to challenge him to a 1v1 on the basketball court, you can follow him on Twitter @charles_rein10 or email him at [email protected]

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