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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Juneteenth events far and wide across the Charlotte region
Celebrations of Black freedom and culture
Published Thursday, June 10, 2021 1:00 pm
by Herbert L. White and Ashley Mahoney

Wingate University is sponsoring “Tribe,” a dance and drumming event presented by Charlotte-based Mufuka Works Dance Company, on June 17.

The Charlotte area is expanding Juneteenth celebrations.

The 24th annual Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas is adding a freedom march to its itinerary. The free multicultural showcase will take place June 17-20 in Plaza Midwood on Thomas and Commonwealth avenues. Vendors from all across the country and Africa will showcase food, art, music and cultural items.

Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day and Liberation Day, the June 19 holiday commemorates the date in 1865 when the last of the America’s enslaved people were freed. Although President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, it would be more than two years before Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia, and news of the end of the Civil War reached Texas.

On June 17 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., children from all over Mecklenburg County will participate in the Juneteenth Cultural Camp at Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School (adjacent to Independence Park).  Children ages 5-17 will make crafts, jewelry, tie-dyeing and perform skits. Be sure to bring a t-shirt for the tie-dye class.

The schedule:

June 18
Drum Circle, 5-10 p.m., House of Africa, 1215 Thomas Ave. The circle attracts drummers and dancers from across the U.S. and the world.

June 19-20
Freedom March, 10 a.m., starts at Marshall Park, 800 E 3rd St., and finishes at Central and Thomas avenues.

Juneteenth luncheon, 2 p.m., honors local, state elected officials and community leaders.

The Marilyn Griffith Turner Scholarship given to a deserving youth approved by our selection committee.

Healthcare Village staffed by professionals from clinics and hospitals as well as nutritionists and fitness experts. Free health screenings, wellness sessions and exercise workshops will be available.

Children’s Village. A special area filled with crafts, storyteller, performance stage and interactive activities.

The Entertainment Stage spotlights drumming, fashion, African dance, reggae, R&B, hip hop and poetry. A church service with The Park Ministries and Gospelfest will be included.

Durag Fest | Free
Durag Fest returns to Charlotte on June 19 in celebration of Juneteenth. The annual festival celebrates Black culture through art, fashion and music.

Attendees are encouraged to showcase their creative expression by wearing durags and other clothing celebrating Black culture. The 2021 theme for the festival is flowers.

“With the advent of TikTok we are watching Black culture get colonized in real time,” Dammit Wesley, co-founder of Durag Fest and co-owner of BLKMRKT, a gallery and studio space at Camp North End, said in a statement. “Countless Black creatives are being robbed of their ideas and denied compensation. So this year, we want to give ‘us’ our flowers ‘cause we deserve ‘em.”

The festival will include an app, Durag Fest app, as well as multiple locations this year. In addition to the traditional location of Camp North End (1824 Statesville Road), Victoria Yards (408 N. Tryon St.) and the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza (400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.) in Uptown have been added to the list of locations.  

Victoria Yards will host a Deep Wave Day Party, featuring a Black vendor marketplace beginning at noon. NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza will house an outdoor art installation titled “Durag Hall of Fame” featuring portraits of Charlotte residents, as well as dancers and a B-Boy cypher beginning at 2 p.m.

Camp North End will host DU After Dark aka Adult Swim from 7-11 p.m., including a street fashion show, wave check, live performances and more.

Juneteenth Jam! | Free
The inaugural Juneteenth celebration from Blumenthal Performing Arts runs June 18-19 in Uptown. Boris “Bluz” Rogers, Blumenthal director of creative engagement and Emmy Award-winning poet, initiated the annual event, which will celebrate Black culture and history through art and entertainment.

Featured locations for the events include The Square (345 N. College St.), Victoria Yards and NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza.

Juneteenth Jam! is collaborating with Durag Fest at the latter two locations. Reba Bowens and Ginga Capoeira will lead interactive dance sessions. We Are Hip Hop dance director A.J. Glasco will curate a performance featuring local artists including Reliable Brother, LeDarius Parker, Alex White of NC Dance District, Travis “Skitz” Simmons and Makayla Cooper.

• In Union County, public school students will be among those performing traditional African dance June 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Wingate University’s McGee Theatre.

The dance and drumming event, presented by Charlotte-based Mufuka Works Dance Company, is called “Tribe,” and sponsored by Wingate’s Unity House Multicultural Center. Admission is free, but tickets are required. McGee Theatre is located inside the Batte Center at 403 N. Camden Road in Wingate.

“In celebration of Juneteenth, we will take a closer look at the power of ‘Tribe,’” said Antonio Jefferson, Wingate’s director of Lyceum. “The performances will be highlighted by Afro Russe dances — Zimbabwean dance fusion that includes ballet and contemporary dance — featuring both professional and youth dancers and drummers.”

Reserve free tickets via Eventbrite at www.eventbrite.com/e/juneteenth-celebration-tickets-156942636651. Or visit Eventbrite.com and search for Juneteenth Celebration, Wingate.

• The Carolina Core, a region that includes Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point is linking the commemoration to its role in African American history.

Greensboro, home of the sit-in, movement, will  honor Juneteenth with Juneteenth GSO: Farmers Market Edition, Arts Legacy Awards and Black Food Truck Fest. Also, the Historic Magnolia House, one of four North Carolina Green Book sites still in existence, will offer a special lunch menu inspired by historic Juneteenth meals.

Magnolia House is also partnering with the Greensboro History Museum to organize a bike tour highlighting famous African American sites.

Winston-Salem will also host a Juneteenth festival at Bailey Park, to celebrate African American traditions and freedom with music, dance, food, panel discussions and arts and crafts.


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