Got To Be Free 

Fourteen years ago, Glynn Reed started Memphis' Juneteenth celebration — an event that commemorates June 19th, 1865, the day slaves in Texas learned that the Civil War was over and they were free. This year's Crossroads Ford Juneteenth Freedom and Heritage Festival salutes African Americans in the military.

The festival will take place June 15th to the 17th in Douglass Park. Activities include horseback riding, picnicking, kiddie rides, moon walks, face-painting, storytelling, Little League softball, Afro-centric jewelry sales, health-testing opportunities, and more.

R&B artist J. Blackfoot (pictured) will be the music headliner, performing at 7 p.m. on Saturday, and the gospel group Kevin Davidson & the Voices will perform at 6:15 p.m. on Sunday. In addition, Juneteenth will feature lots of local musicians, including African drummer Ekpe, "because we've got so much talent right here," Reed explains. And, as always, an abundance of food will be available, though families are welcome to bring their own.

Reed says that in just 14 years, Memphis' Juneteenth has experienced extraordinary growth. "At first, there were less than 300 people, and now, there's no way to tell how many people there are," she says.

As for the reason behind the festival's increased popularity: "We've been cooped up inside all winter," Reed says, laughing. But, more importantly, "It's a cultural event, and there are not a lot of opportunities for children and adults together to get history about their culture," she says. "It's a celebration of freedom."

Juneteenth, Douglass Park, June 15th-17th, free. For more information, go to www.juneteenthmemphis.com.

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

Tiger Blue

Tigers 70, UCF 65

News Blog

Thousands Join Memphis Women's March

Politics Beat Blog

One Eye on The Memphis Women's March, January 21, 2017

News Blog

PODCAST: Two Flyer Guys and the Portland Protests

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies 107, Kings 91: Game Notes

Intermission Impossible

Hitchcock, Cock Rock, and Bayard Rustin Live on Stage

Tiger Blue

Tigers 70, Houston 67 (OT)

News Blog

Sierra Club Protests Trump's EPA Choice

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Rachel Stinson

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation