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Annual Juneteenth Celebration June 20-21

Charlottesville, Va. – The 14th annual community Juneteenth celebration hosted by Piedmont Virginia Community College will be held Friday and Saturday, June 20 and 21. All Juneteenth events are free and open to the public.

Dating back to 1865, Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery.  In recent years, Juneteenth has enjoyed a growing interest from communities and organizations across the nation. Virginia is one of 30 states officially observing Juneteenth.

The celebration begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 20, with a Tribute to the Ancestors featuring drumming and musical and spoken-word performances. The tribute will take place in front of the V. Earl Dickinson Building on the main campus of PVCC. Participants are encouraged to wear white or African clothing for this event.

Following the tribute, attendees are invited to participate in Black Heritage Brain Quest, a friendly competition to challenge your knowledge of African-American heritage. Closing out Friday’s activities will be a dramatic spoken word tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou, who passed away May 28. A reception follows. The spoken word performance will be presented again at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, in the V. Earl Dickinson Building.

Also on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. there will be activities in and around the Dickinson Building. Members of the community are invited to a storytelling and community art project presented by Page Hill, community activist and artist, a presentation of “The Racial and Ethnic History of Charlottesville,” by Charlene Green, human rights community outreach specialist and local history exhibits by the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. Vendors will sell food and handmade crafts. Bring your own picnic or purchase food on site and plan to spend the day. A closing program concludes the weekend celebration at 2:30 p.m. in the Maxwell Theatre (Black Box) in the Dickinson Building.

Juneteenth programs are designed to provide unique and enriching learning experiences for the whole family, including authentic historical reenactments of plantation life and hands-on activities for children.

For more information, call 434.825.8204 or email tturner@pvcc.edu.