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Celebrate Juneteenth with Your Community

Friday June 10th, 2022

As racial justice and a complete telling of American history take on heightened importance, The Library is joining celebrations of Juneteenth, helping to inform the community about the significance of the day in 1865 when emancipation reached the last enslaved people in the United States.

Juneteenth National Independence Day commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and proclaimed the end of both the Civil War and slavery. Texas was the last state to receive the news, and the ending of these final vestiges of slavery came almost 2½ years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation

The Library received invitations to partner with community celebrations and is bringing its unique touch to the festivities:

  • Juneteenth for MazieStoryWalk, HBGJuneteenth, Riverfront Park, June 18, and Juneteenth Jubilee Day, Reservoir Park, June 19: The Library’s popular StoryWalks present book pages in stations for readers to enjoy while strolling. For this event, the StoryWalk frames Juneteenth for Mazie, by Floyd Cooper, in the beautiful scenery of Riverfront Park on June 18 and the dramatic Reservoir Park on June 19.
  • MARCO, JuneteenthHBG 2022, Juneteenth Market + UPMC Healthy Harrisburg, Downtown Harrisburg, June 19, and Juneteenth Jubilee, Reservoir Park, June 19: MARCO brings the fun with activities, books, giveaways, and bubbles. Both events are sponsored by Young Professionals of Color – Greater Harrisburg.MORCO
  • African American Genealogy Workshop, National Civil War Museum: Juneteenth Free Day, June 18: Bring your laptop and join Kindred Spirits Genealogy and The Library for this workshop, “Start Climbing Your Own Family Tree.”

 

The Library is also bringing Juneteenth celebrations internally:

  • Juneteenth Storytime Celebration, June 12 to 19: Leaders from the area’s Black-owned business community will be guest readers during The Library’s popular Storytime programs.
  • Juneteenth Young Adult Book Club, June 22: Teens ages 13 to 18 can share their impressions and questions about Crossing Ebenezer Creek, Tonya Bolden’s work, based on a true story, about the journey of a young woman after she is freed from enslavement.
  • StoryWalks in all eight Libraries, June 12 to June 30: Library visitors can learn about and discuss Juneteenth as they read AllAll Better Now Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom, by Angela Johnson.
  • Juneteenth Take and Make Kit: Visit Marco at a Juneteenth event or drop by a local Library for an art activity, suggested reading list, and online resources to help spark a Juneteenth discussion at home.

The combination of resources and events makes Juneteenth accessible and fosters conversations, said The Library’s Tynan Edwards.

“The Library wants to serve as a resource for discovery—a connection point that allows community members the ability to look up these stories and find new information so they can continue these conversations on their own time and in their own way,” Edwards said.

The StoryWalk also includes a QR code that readers can scan to learn more about available Library resources, including a Juneteenth Reading List with recommended books for children, teens, young adults, and adults. The Library also curates its Hari Jones Hidden History collection and presents the monthly Live and Learn series for education and discussions of Black history.

The Library is happy to join in efforts elevating “this very important historical moment in time,” said Public Services Director Lori Milach.

“The Library is for everyone,’’ Milach said. “We want to make sure that all different groups are able to see The Library out and about and supporting the diversity within our community. We have an ability to use our Library and outreach to share information that we have on these subjects to learn more.”

Young Professionals of Color – Greater Harrisburg, or YPOC HBG, supports more than two dozen Harrisburg School District classrooms through the Adopt-A-Classroom program. With its educational focus, the collaboration with The Library is “an easy partnership because we’re working from the strengths of each organization to reach a common goal,” said Executive Vice President of Operations Dr. Kimeka Campbell.

“One of the things we do not talk about enough is The Library as a community space and not just a place where books are,” she said. “So much learning happens at The Library. So much discovery happens at The Library, and we wanted to bring an element of that to Juneteenth.”

YPOC HBG’s JuneteenthHBG 2022 convenes a large group of community organizations for “probably the biggest, most collaborative celebration the city has ever seen,” Campbell adds. “I am happy that The Library is involved, because community organizations like ours have been building up to this moment for a very long time. We want people to understand that Juneteenth is American history, and what better entity than The Library to communicate that message, because the libraries are community staples?”

For times, locations, and other details, visit The Library’s Juneteenth page.


Christina Lauver
Marketing & Public Relations Manager


The above piece represents the views of the author and is meant to inspire dialogue and increase understanding and a sense of community. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of The Library. Members are welcome to comment below or contact us privately by using our online contact form >