Saturday To-Do: Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom | Rock Candy

Friday, June 19, 2009

Saturday To-Do: Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 1:59 PM

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Rodney Block.

JUNETEENTH: A CELEBRATION OF FREEDOM
11 a.m., Ninth and Broadway to Ninth and State. Free.

Last year, Arkansas natives and Davidson College students Julian Walker and Darrel Scott made a short documentary about Power 92's annual Juneteenth concert that sought to expose the radio station's event as little more than a marketing ploy, with the history and importance of Juneteenth (a celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation) de-emphasized or not even mentioned at all. This year, the pair has teamed with the Little Rock NAACP to organize what Walker says is “not merely a celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation, but of the ongoing struggle for freedom by blacks in America.” To that end, the event features a diverse array of music, poetry, dance and lecture. Walker will offer a presentation called “Why Does Juneteenth Matter Today?” (11:45 a.m.), the text of which might be similar to an editorial Walker provided to the Times, which is posted below. As for music, there are a lot of familiar names on the bill — Rodney Block (2:45 p.m.), Epiphany (3:15 p.m.), Ron Mc (4:15 p.m.), 4X4 Crew (5:15 p.m.), Shea Marie (6:15 p.m.), Nikki Parish (7:15 p.m.) — along with other intriguing if less known ones, including Queen Esther, a gospel singer from Kenya (12:45 p.m.), and the Gloryland Pastor Choir (1 p.m.). There'll be food and drink vendors on the street. The event runs until 8 p.m.

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