State College To Celebrate Juneteenth With Week Of Events, Downtown Block Party

State College’s NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) chapter and “Black 2 Reality” are hosting a slate of events to celebrate Juneteenth. Juneteenth is the longest-running African American holiday, which marks the emancipation of the last remaining enslaved African Americans on June 19, 1865.

Black 2 Reality is a group that aims to “share Black Excellence in the community through education, entrepreneurship, and entertainment.” The group is hosting “Liberation Week” events beginning on Monday, June 13.

Monday, June 13 — 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. — Education Liberation

Community members can listen to stories about Juneteenth, learn about the Pan-African/Juneteenth flag, visit an Affirmation table, and write a letter to a living Freedom Fighter at the Schlow Library.

Tuesday, June 14 — 6 p.m. — A Southern High Tea

Dress in your finest “Southern Belle” or “Kentucky Derby” attire for custom teas by Gratified Grad and vegan treats by Chakra’s Cafe. The Southern event is at 3 Dots Downtown, and registration is required.

Wednesday, June 15 — 6 to 7:30 p.m. — Juneteenth Trivia

Head to Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe for a Juneteenth trivia event that offers a chance to win prizes.

Thursday, June 16 — 6:30 p.m. — Step, Stomp, & Stroll

A fraternity and sorority competition in support of Juneteenth will take place at The State Theatre. Tickets are available online and at the door. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Friday, June 17 — 3 to 5 p.m. — Understanding the Underground

Take a self-guided tour of historical sites at the Bellefonte Art Museum. Participants will get a deeper look into Centre County’s history of the Underground Railroad.

Saturday, June 18 — 7 p.m. — Juneteenth Southern Soirée

A Black-Tie affair will take place at The Graduate Hotel. It includes a three-course meal, music, entertainment, and special awards. Ages 10 and up can attend. Tickets can be purchased here.

The NAACP will host events on Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18. The NAACP anticipates the event to be the “Biggest and Blackest celebration to date in Centre County history.”

The NAACP is working with the Center for Performing Arts, the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, Institute for Development, and the State College Borough to put on State College’s third Juneteenth celebration.

“We have invited talented artists to showcase the Black intergenerational experience and celebrate Black voices and Black brilliance from slavery to present day through poetry, music and visual arts,” a release said.

Friday, June 17 — 7 p.m. — “Reflections of Black Experiences: Voices of Freedom through the Ages.”

An exhibit curated by Dr. Grace Hampton, professor emerita of art, art education, and integrative arts and former vice provost and senior faculty mentor at Penn State, will be on display. The exhibit will feature 2D and 3D art submitted by local people of color, which is centered on the theme “Reflections of Black Experiences: Voices of Freedom through the Ages.”

The celebration begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 17, at the Woskob Art Gallery located at 145 S. Allen St. The awards ceremony begins at 8:15 p.m.

Saturday, June 18 — Noon to 6 p.m. — Downtown Block Party

Saturday’s block party will take place on Fraser St. and in the MLK Plaza, and food trucks will be in attendance. Black vendors will sell merchandise, jewelry, clothing, art, and more at the event. There will be a DJ, crafts, and educational activities. Additionally, the State College NAACP will announce the recipients of the Black Excellence Awards.

More information can be found on the State College NAACP’s Facebook page.

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About the Author

Colleen Nersten

Colleen is a washed-up biology grad and former associate editor. Her legacy will live on through stories like “10 Questions With State College Sensation ‘Hot UPS Bae’”. If you’re a STEM girlie, this is your sign to take the leap of faith and learn to write. It’s pretty fun. Colleen misses the hate mail and can be reached at [email protected] or via LinkedIn.

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