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Juneteenth Celebrated At Ralph Ellison Library

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 20, there’ll be lots going on at the Ralph Ellison library,” Owens added.  “This will be our 23rd 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 20.  Events begin at 9:00 a.m. and will conclude around 2:00 p.m.

Call the library at 424-1437 for more information.  The Ralph Ellison Library is located at 1918 NE 23rd, Oklahoma City.

The schedule of events is:

    9:00-10:30am Continental breakfast, gospel choir & history of Juneteenth speaker

    10:30-11:45am Understanding Juneteenth panel

    10:45a-12:30p Health Fair

    11:45a-12:45pm Al Bostick Juneteenth performance

    12:30p- Block Party: Friends of the North East District-Theme (Soul Train) -Vendors

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.