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Juneteenth at Oakland Cemetery
June 18 - June 19
You’re invited to take part in a two-day Juneteenth celebration!
Originally celebrated in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, Juneteenth is a nationally-recognized commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. Join us as we remember the generations that suffered under the yoke of slavery and segregation and help us celebrate a future of action and equality for all.
Reflection and Remembrance Walk at Oakland. Thursday, June 18, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Cemeteries are spaces for the living to mourn the dead and reflect on that grief. Cemeteries are also places of peace and quiet tranquility. We recognize that the horrifying events over the last few weeks, months, years, and centuries have caused trauma to our minds, bodies, and spirits. On June 18, we invite the public to walk Oakland’s grounds for an hour of silent reflection and remembrance. At the gates, visitors will be given a map of Oakland featuring sites of African American history and open spaces for quiet reflection. There will be no speeches, songs, or led walks. This is simply an opportunity for communal reflection and contemplation. We encourage all visitors to socially distance and respect one another. Cloth face masks are encouraged.
Digital Juneteenth Celebration. Friday, June 19
After reflection and remembrance, it’s time to celebrate and take action! Join us for a digital Juneteenth celebration of Atlanta’s African American history and culture. Throughout the day, Oakland’s Facebook page and Instagram will feature
- Virtual tours of Oakland’s African American Burial Grounds
- Gullah Geechee storytelling and musical performances
- Music and prayer from Reverend John Foster and the Big Bethel A.M.E. Church choir, and more.
- Media from Remembrance as Resistance: Preserving Black Narratives by artist Charmaine Minniefield and Flux Projects to promote Historic Oakland Foundation’s Juneteenth celebration in 2021.
Schedule of Events for June 19 (On Facebook, Instagram, and our website)
9 a.m.: An introduction to our digital Juneteenth program
10 a.m.: Big Bethel A.M.E.: 19th-century spirituals and a blessing from Pastor John Foster
11 a.m.: Gullah Geechee Storytelling with LaDoris Bias Davis
12 p.m.: Live restoration tour of the historic African American Burial Grounds with Director of Preservation Ashley Shares
1 p.m.: We Shall Overcome virtual tour with HOF docent Jihan Hurse
2 p.m.: Discover the stories of Oakland residents
3 p.m.: Resident spotlights from Capturing the Spirit of Oakland
4 p.m.: Georgia Gullah Geechee Ring Shouters performance at Juneteenth 2019, as part of Resistance: Preserving Black Narratives by artist Charmaine Minniefield and Flux Projects
5 p.m.: A Litany for Liberation, written by Amina McIntyre and read by Deborah Strahorn
We will also share information and posts from partner organizations throughout the day, so stay tuned!
A Note about Juneteenth at Oakland:
In light of the current COVID-19 health crisis, our original plan to celebrate Juneteenth 2020 with Remembrance as Resistance: Preserving Black Narratives, a project led by artist Charmaine Minniefield and Flux Projects, is postponed until 2021. We look forward to celebrating with you again at Oakland next year!
Photo credit: Renata Irving