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Juneteenth Celebrated at Ralph Ellison Library

What is Juneteenth? 

JoAnn Walkup, librarian at Ralph Ellison Library, defines Juneteenth as “the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in the U.S.  It’s the observance of June 19th, 1865, which is considered to be the African-American Emancipation Day.”

Although President Lincoln released the Emancipation Proclamation two and a-half years previously, word was slow reaching Texas, then a far-flung outpost of the Confederacy.

“This year, for our Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 19, there’ll be lots going on at the Ralph Ellison library,” Walkup added.  “We’re celebrating with an old fashioned block party, including music, food, and entertainment.”

As a bonus, the Thunder Bus will be present, along with the Thunder Girls.

The Ralph Ellison Library Juneteenth Festival will be held on Saturday, June 19.  Events begin at 10:00 a.m. and will continue all day, concluding around 5:00 p.m.

Call the library at 606-3459 for more information.  The Ralph Ellison Library is located at 2000 NE 23rd, Oklahoma City.

Full schedule of Ralph Ellison Library Juneteenth events:

10:00a.m. – Family Fun, face painting, storytelling, Health Fair with Diabetes and Dental information, local organizations with resources – continental breakfast

 10:30a.m. – Speaker on “Understanding Juneteenth”

11:30 – musical break

Noon-1:00p.m. – panel discussion on the State of Black Oklahoma

1:00-4:00p.m. – local authors book signings

Ralph Ellison Library’s Juneteenth Celebration is co-sponsored by Oklahoma City Thunder, Perry Broadcasting Network, Capitol Chamber of Commerce, and NABVets OKC.    

For more information about this or any Metropolitan Library System program, visit the MLS website, www.metrolibrary.org.

The Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County includes 12 libraries and five extension libraries. Libraries include Belle Isle, Capitol Hill, Ralph Ellison, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and Southern Oaks in Oklahoma City, as well as Bethany, Choctaw, Del City, Edmond, Midwest City, Village and Warr Acres. Extensions are located in the communities of Harrah, Jones, Luther and Nicoma Park and include Wright Library in Oklahoma City. You can also reach us at www.metrolibrary.org.