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140th Juneteenth will be celebrated across the region


Celebrate Juneteenth, the date commemorating the end of slavery after the Civil War, this weekend at various events in the area. Juneteenth, the oldest black holiday, is marked each year on or around June 19 with celebrations, picnics, family gatherings, music and more.

On June 19, 1865, slaves in Galveston, Texas, were finally notified of the Emancipation Proclamation. This date was a full 2 1/2 years after the proclamation took effect. So June 19 - Juneteenth - became the day recognized as African-American Emancipation Day.

Here are a few of the Juneteenth events taking place throughout the area:

The 140th Juneteenth Commemoration, the statewide salute, will take place 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Fort Avenue. The Juneteenth Museum presents the event, which honors the soldiers, sailors, drafted freedmen and slaves who helped to build the defenses at the fort and around Baltimore during the War of 1812. The event will feature appearances by photojournalist Monroe Frederick, who snapped many of the photos for the 2005 Juneteenth poster; 9-year-old Ms. Juneteenth, Lawren Leslie Beane; singer Mitchell Moore; and speaker Eric Sheppard from the Slave Descendants Freedom Society. Visitors can sit in on a lecture, hear a singing of the national anthem and receive free posters and books about Juneteenth. Free. Call 410-243-8882.

The Baltimore County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority's community Juneteenth festival, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Randallstown Library's parking lot, 8604 Liberty Road. The festival will include a Juneteenth skit commemorating black freedom, a poetry reading, music from a DJ, appearances by local politicians, community vendors, games, prizes, refreshments and more. Free. Call 410-922-8655.

"Lea Gilmore's Juneteenth Celebration," 8 p.m. Saturday at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave. Singer, activist and historian Gilmore will lead the program of traditional spirituals and freedom songs in recognition of June- teenth. Also, Community Arts Project performers from the Encore Theater will give dramatic presentations. Admission $15; $12 members. Call 410-276-1651 or visit www.creativealli ance.org.

A literary-panel talk on "Signifying Freedom" will take place 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at the Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. The panel, including author Raymond Dobard and singer Katie Davenport, will discuss the inventive use of secret signs on the Underground Railroad. Refreshments will be provided. Dobard's book Hidden in Plain View will be available for purchase. The event is co-sponsored by HoCoPoLitSo and the Howard County Library. Free. Call 410-715-3089.

It'll be an afternoon of music, speakers and remembrances at the Juneteenth event noon-5 p.m. Sunday at the African American Civil War Memorial, 11th and U streets N.W., Washington. Journalist Jared Ball hosts the event. Performers will include the Head-Roc War Machine, Mello D and the Rados, Machetres Akshon, DJ Stylus, DJ Curtis Lee and the Lucky Lions Martial Arts Troop. Speakers will include Hari Jones, Parisa Nourzi, Abdur Rahim Muhammed, Rami Elamine, Luci Murphy and Rick Tingling. Free. Call 202-667-2667.

For other Juneteenth events throughout the state and in Washington, call the Juneteenth Museum at 410-243-8882.

For more family events, see Page 44.

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