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Audrey T. McCluskey
Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center
812 855-9271

Last modified: Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Forever Free: Celebrating Our Freedom, Renewing Our Strength," is theme of Juneteenth celebration

June 7, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- "Forever Free: Celebrating Our Freedom, Renewing Our Strength," is the theme of the 13th Annual Juneteenth Freedom Celebration sponsored by the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at Indiana University Bloomington.

Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Photo by Chris Meyer

Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Print-Quality Photo

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the center, located at 275 N. Jordan Ave., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 18.

Juneteenth is a significant date in American history. It recalls June 19, 1865, when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom. The commemoration of the beginning of freedom was dubbed "Emancipation Day" and is today the oldest national celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

"Our theme this year calls for celebration tempered with vigilance and resolve, because freedom cannot be taken for granted," said Audrey T. McCluskey, director of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. "I hope that the larger Bloomington community will participate. It has a similar meaning to July 4 for many Americans."

The celebration is a community-oriented event that features something for every age group. There will be performances by the choirs of Second Baptist Church and the I Care Ministries, a children's segment with the Cry of the Children dance group, and other activities. JMuse, a multi-dimensional ensemble, will encapsulate the theme in its performance. The Unsung Hero Award will be presented to community leaders, and the award includes a monetary donation to a charitable organization of the recipient's choice.

Bloomington Hospital staff have organized a health screening bazaar that includes nutrition, blood pressure screening, information about the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, and other healthy lifestyle exhibits. The event concludes with a catered family style dinner by a local chef.

Co-sponsors for Juneteenth are: The City of Bloomington, Ivy Tech Community College, IU Residential Programs and Services, IU Diversity Education and John Albertson of Allstate Insurance.

For more information please call 812-855-9271 or send an e-mail to