Telfair Museums will welcome the public to its 12th annual observance of Juneteenth — a celebration of the end of slavery in the United States — with a Free Family Day on Saturday, June 8 from 1-4pm. The Juneteenth celebration at Telfair Museums’ Jepson Center will feature storytelling, music, and demonstrations highlighting African American history and Gullah-Geechee culture, kicking off observances of Juneteenth in the Savannah area.
Telfair’s celebration of Juneteenth was founded by local historian and poet Vaughnette Goode-Walker, who remains the event’s creative force. In addition to storytelling programs by longtime Juneteenth presenters Jamal Toure and Queen Quet, the afternoon will include a 1:30 pm reading of a children’s book and a short talk by historian Hermina Glass-Hill on Susie King Taylor.
Taylor was the first black Army nurse during the Civil War, the first teacher of newly freed African American children following the war, and the first black woman to write a memoir of the war. The program will conclude with a 2:45 pm featured performance by The Savannah United House of Prayer Shout Band, a first for the Jepson Center. The vibrant music of brass shout bands in the United House of Prayer is a tradition dating back to the early 20th century.
In addition to scheduled programming, there will be hands-on activities available for children and families, demonstrations of traditional arts and crafts by local artists, including Gullah-Geechee painter Sabree, and seagrass basket making by Gregory Grant.
“Juneteenth is the celebration of freedom and is a vital reminder of this history for our times,” said event organizer Vaughnette Goode-Walker. “The museum welcomes all to commemorate Juneteenth at the Jepson Center through storytelling, art, and spirited music.”
This program is free and open to the public.