The story, as related by Malia Lazu, executive director of Epicenter Community, goes something like this:
Several years after the Civil War, a white man in the South rode up to a plantation where he discovered a group of slaves that didn’t know the war was over. The man explained to him that it was and they were now free. And so, it was that the last slaves in America were set free.
“Some people say the story is true and some say it isn’t,” Lazu explained. “For us, it is still a moment for people to celebrate our freedom, and that is the reason we celebrate Juneteenth.”
For the past five years, Epicenter community and the Museum of Fine Arts have partnered to create a Juneteenth event that celebrates creativity, community and freedom by offering free admission and programs for all to enjoy. Juneteenth, which will be celebrated at the MFA on Wednesday evening, June 21, 2017, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
“The great thing about the partnership between Epicenter and the MFA is that the museum is really dedicated to making it an authentic event,” Lazu said. “A lot of organizations host diversity events only to check it off on their to-do list. There’s no real commitment. The MFA has been wholly committed from the start.” Part of that commitment, Lazu added, was the way the MFA reached out to the various communities in the city to not only make sure their customer base is more diversified, but to open their doors to additional community access and local artists.
A full list of events and activities for the Juneteenth celebration at the MFA can be found by clicking HERE. Admission if Free. The celebration starts at 4 PM.