To commemorate Juneteenth, numerous N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources sites across the state will feature events and tours throughout the month of June.
Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and ensure that all enslaved people were freed. It signifies the official end of slavery in the United States.
For more information about Juneteenth, including how the holiday is being marked at sites across the state, visit https://www.ncdcr.gov/juneteenth.
Saturday, June 10, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. — Somerset Place State Historic Site, Creswell. 12th Annual "Days Gone By." This community event will feature tours of the historic plantation structures, garden tours, exhibits, period games for young children and horse-driven carriage rides, folk music. Living historians will demonstrate 19th century medicine, food preservation, hearth cooking, as well as trades such as cross-cut sawing, dug-out canoe construction, and shingle making. Various arts, crafts, and food vendors will also be available. Braima Moiwai, a West African storyteller, will present the history and significance of Juneteenth. Suggested donations of $5 for adults and $3 for kids are welcomed. Guided tours for a fee of $2 for adults and $1 for seniors being offered at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m.
Wednesday, June 14, 7-8 p.m. — North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh. The Significance of Juneteenth is an on-site program with speaker Dr. Spencer R. Crew, Interim Director, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Although the history of Juneteenth began in Texas in 1865, observances marking the event have spread across the nation, and Crew will explore the historical legacy of Juneteenth and what it means for all Americans today.
Thursday, June 15, noon-1:30 p.m. — State Library of North Carolina and State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh. Untangling Our Roots: Experiences with African American Genealogy, Genealogy research requires hard work, persistence, creativity, and often courage. The State Library and State Archives of North Carolina, in partnership with the Capital City Juneteenth Celebration Committee, will present a Lunch and Learn panel of veteran family history researchers who will offer research strategies and share their own experiences untangling the intersected knots of history, memory, and surviving records to reveal their ancestral roots. Join us in Room 208 at the SLNC Government and Heritage Library, or view the livestream event on YouTube, https://slnc.info/SLNC-YT. For more information, please visit the event page at slnc.info/UOR or contact the SLNC Government and Heritage Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, June 15, 7-8:15 p.m. — Tryon Palace, New Bern. Juneteenth Stories of Survival and Laughter: Come and celebrate the jubilation of Juneteenth with a little history. Hear how folktale characters such as Anansi, the god of stories, wisdom, knowledge and trickery, Brer Rabbit, who can't outsmart Brer Fox and Brer Bear, and the tragic story about the Sun and Moon, who gave African American ancestors the strength to survive enslavement. Master Storyteller Donna Washington will take you on a journey into tales that lift the spirit and call us to care for each other, honor our inner strength, and keep working to achieve our dreams.
Friday, June 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. — Lake James State Park, Nebo. Juneteenth Family Fun Day: Visit the Paddy's Creek Area of Lake James State Park for fishing, swimming, canoeing, field games, guided hikes, food, friends, family, fun! This event is free. All are welcome.
Friday, June 16, 7 p.m. — North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh. Juneteenth Joy: Kick off your weekend at The North Carolina Museum of Art for "Juneteenth Joy 2023: A Celebration of Freedom and Gospel Music." This special event features The Clark Sisters, John P. Kee, Pastor Shirley Caesar, and special guest Charles Jenkins.
Friday, June 16, noon-4 p.m. — North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh. Honoring Juneteenth, Celebrate Juneteenth at the N.C. Museum of History. Meet members of the Battery B Second Regiment, United States Colored Troops (USCT) Light Artillery Reenactors, and discover the legacy of the USCT in the struggle for freedom and citizenship during the American Civil War. This is a free drop-in program that allows visitors to talk to and learn from the reenactors.
Saturday, June 17, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. — Historic Stagville State Historic Site, Durham. Juneteenth at Stagville: Join us for Stagville's 17th annual Juneteenth program honoring the local history of emancipation through talks and guided tours about emancipation; explore a pop-up display about freedom seekers at Stagville; and explore prompts for reflection and remembrance at Horton Grove.
Sunday, June 18, 2-8 p.m. — Jones Lake State Park, Elizabethtown. Juneteenth at Jones Lake: Join us at Jones Lake State Park to commemorate the life of Dewitt Powell, the first African American state park superintendent. Enjoy live music featuring Spirit of Oya at 4:30 p.m. and The Stanley Baird Group at 6 p.m.