Historic Stagville is getting an early start on Juneteenth celebrations, for the June 19, 1865, date cited as when the last of the enslaved learned they were free -- months after the Civil War ended. A day full of family activities and riveting slave narrative performances at night will create a well-rounded observance at Stagville. This is the first of 2nd Saturdays programs arranged by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources at museums and historic sites statewide on June 8, July 13 and Aug. 10.
The day’s activities include a joyous drumming circle of commemoration, craft making including cowrie shell necklaces and cardstock Thomas Day benches. North Carolina Award winning children’s book author Carole Boston Weatherford will read “Juneteenth Jamboree.”
Also celebrate the blues, with North Carolina Folk Heritage Award winner John Dee Holman in performance. The Golden Genies from the Durham Center for Senior Living will dance and prove that you’re never too old to keep on stepping. Storyteller Priscilla Best will entertain young and old, and the period games of “Graces” and “Mancala” also will delight the kids. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be for sale.
Spellbinding performances of “Let Them Be Heard” will be presented by Bare Theatre productions starting at 7 p.m., and on the half hour. Actors bring to life the words of slave narratives performed in cabins that were constructed and lived in by the enslaved. This is a return from last year by popular demand. Tickets are $10 and are on sale for the powerful performances on June 7 and June 8, and also on June 14 and 15. Tickets may be purchased at online or in person at the site.
For additional information call (919) 620-0120. Historic Stagville is within the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
Another Juneteenth celebration, produced by Spectacular Magazine, will be held in Durham on June 15th at CCB Plaza. Learn more about that event here.
To learn more about history in Durham, visit online.