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1200 Robert E. Lee Blvd (11:00 AM- 9:00 PM)
The Holy Trinity Cathedral is inviting Grecophiles of all ages out to Bayou St. John for goat burgers, traditional music and dancing, and regional libations
Zephyr Field (2:00 PM)
New Orleans baseball against the Omaha Storm Chasers
NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden (5:00 PM)
The NOLA Project presents this festive comedy that pits two of Shakespeare's most beloved characters in a war of words and wits
Art Klub, 513 Elysian Fields Ave (8:00 PM)
An interactive and sparkling performance presented by Nari Tomassetti
Shadowbox Theatre (8:00 PM)
Straightforward conversational drama explores one area's gentrification through 50 years
Hot 8 Brass Band
Howlin’ Wolf Den (10:00PM)
Weekly gig from some of the city’s best in brass
Joe Krown feat. Russell Batiste and Walter "Wolfman" Washington
Maple Leaf (10:30PM)
Weekly gig on Oak with Krown on the organ, Washington firing up the guitar strings, and Batiste on the drums.
Zephyr Field (1:00 PM)
New Orleans baseball against the Omaha Storm Chasers
The Healing Center (7:00 PM)
The French Alliance’s Cine-Club screens a French romantic film with English Subtitles
Hi-Ho Lounge (8:00 PM)
King James & the Special Men
Charmaine Neville Band
New Orleans Jazz Vipers
Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes
Revelry and Reflection
Juneteenth Festival Marks the Day Slaves Gained Freedom
Most festivals in New Orleans are all about revelry and merriment, and in many ways, this weekend's celebration of Juneteenth isn’t any different.
“Juneteenth,” a word combination of “June” and “Nineteenth” marks the day in 1865 that African slaves gained true freedom after their “official” emancipation in 1863. While this is certainly an anniversary worth celebrating with music, crafts and libations, New Orleanians also use this opportunity as a forum to discuss the many issues facing our city’s African-American community.
The 2012 Celebrating Freedom Festival Chairwoman Bridget Johnson told NoDef about the fete's roots in New Orleans.
“Prior to last year, Juneteenth festivals have been going on in New Orleans for maybe 15-20 years. They died down back in the 90’s,” Johnson said. “The very last one was held in early 2000’s. After the storm we didn’t have any more that I know of, so last year, a group of individuals from various cultural institutions and organizations got together and said, ‘we want to do a Juneteenth organization.’”
Tonight, June 15, there will be a fundraiser at the New Orleans African American Museum from 6-10 p.m. The kickoff event will feature historical reenactments by Kaia Livers and Torrance Taylor, as well as a home remedies demonstration by Eddie Boyd and historical reflections by Rev. Sampson “Skip” Alexander.
“Rev. Alexander has some powerful images of his days when he was with the Southern Leadership Conference. He has several pictures that he has taken with Dr. King and some other notable civil rights leaders,” Johnson said. The fundraiser costs $20 for adults and $10 for kids, and proceeds go towards programmatic initiatives.
Johnson said that the festival’s educational subcommittee wants use the money to create a K-12 curriculum.
“[We want] to teach the city youth the history of Juneteenth as it’s described and the associated cultural and artistic phenomenon. We want to offer this free of charge to local educators this coming fall,” she said. The Chairwoman also said that the organizers are interested in reinstating “Marcus Garvey Day,” which hasn’t happened in New Orleans in decades. That holiday commemorates the famed Jamaican leader who was at the forefront of the black nationalism movement.
But before that, there is Juneteenth. On Saturday and Sunday, the festivities will take place in Congo Square from 12-7pm. There will be a kids’ tent that Johnson promises will be entertaining and educational.
“We have Mama Alma’s market place where the kids are going to learn about healthy food choices when making groceries. We have reader’s corner with story telling. Read aloud some talk back, some book making, arts and crafts, face painting. The kids will also have an opportunity to make Father’s Day cards,” Johnson said. There will also be a “youth financial literacy workshop,” called “The Money Doctor,” for fest goers who want to instill fiscal responsibility in their little ones.
There will also be three-legged races for father-daughter and father-son teams. In addition to all the Father’s Day fun, the festival will also host a panel called, “Color Him Father.” Johnson told us a little more about the topics that local leaders will breach.
“They’re going to use the historical view—they’re going to discuss the state of Black Fatherhood over time and how they’ve progressed,” Johnson said. “The second one is a continuation where they discuss the state of the Black Fatherhood today and the discussion continues. They have some really good speakers.” Johnson said. Some big names include Flozell Daniels, former City Councilman Oliver Thomas, and Minister Willie Muhammad.
There will also be a panel in which youth can communicate with community leaders free of judgment about the violence many African-American children in the city, especially young men, face every day.
“The killing just has to stop. One of the activities that is going to take place is that we’re going to have a talk back session where the youth will have an opportunity to talk to the adults free of judgment. There’s a lot of peer pressure, a lot of things going on in the community that they’re exposed to and we want them to have an opportunity of expression,” Johnson said. The panel is entitled, “Project Future for the Youth Community Talk Back.”
In addition to the serious stuff, there will be food, and plenty of it. Vendors include Liberty’s Kitchen with pulled pork sandwiches, Mel’s Food Truck and Snowballs, Ms. Linda’s Catering, and Smoothie King for those who want a refreshing snack or a healthy alternative.
There will be a ton of craft vendors, including “Asali Soaps,” jewelry from “Casablanca Bazaar,” and work from Caribbean artists, the proceeds of which will go directly back to Haiti. Last but certainly not least, there will be music. Chuck Perkins and the Big Easy All Stars, Michaela Harrison, and the Divine Nine Secondline Club will all be there, just to name a few. You can find more information about the food and music of the fest here.
Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Ian Hoch, Sarah Esenwein, Ryan Sparks, Will Dilella, Chris Rinaldi, Lianna Patch, Phil Yiannopoulos, Cate Czarnecki, Jonas Griffin, Jennifer Abbot, Mary Kilpatrick, Elaina Patton, Mike Horst, Devin Bambrick, Katherine McGuire, Norris Ortolano, Joe Shriner
Ryan Sparks, Kerem Ozkan
Michael Weber, B.A.
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