Kim Terry, Director of Marketing and Communications
Published: June 13, 2011
What is Juneteenth?
Michael Owens, Manager of Library Operations at the 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. The former slaves in Texas were told they were freed on June 19.
“This year, for our Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18, there’ll be lots going on at the Ralph Ellison library,” Owens added. “This will be our 25th Anniversary of Juneteenth at Ralph Ellison, and we’re celebrating with a day of music, food and reflection on the significance of Juneteenth.”
The Ralph Ellison Library Juneteenth Festival will be held on Saturday, June 18. The library, located at 2000 N.E. 23rd, is calling it “a Block Party with music, food, entertainment, and local authors” following this schedule:
Inside activities end at 4pm, but the fun continues outside until 6pm. Questions? Call 424-1437
Local Partners include the Oklahoma City Thunder, Perry Broadcasting Network, Reach Out and Read, and NABVet OKC. Call the library at 424-1437 for more information, or visit the MLS webpage at 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.