Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of enslaved persons in the United States, will be observed with three events this year: Authors Night, Youth Night, and the Juneteenth celebration on June 19. All three events will take place at Bradley Academy Museum and Cultural Center at 415 S. Academy Street and are free to attend.

Local authors will discuss their literary works and sign books from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 17. This event supports aspiring African American authors in Rutherford County. Authors participating include Latishia Dowdy, Kendra L, Katerra Locke, Mary Watkins, Darryl Webb, Antonia Royal Whitmore, and Denise Wilson.

Youth Night will be held from 4:00 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 18. The event will highlight the creative minds of local youth, showcasing poets, artists and musicians. Youth Night is designed for the youth to remember the past, celebrate the present and look forward to the future.

The community is invited to celebrate Juneteenth, or “Freedom Day” on June 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Activities include a kids’ zone, food vendors, artists, and live music and dancing.

“We are elated to have the annual festival in person this year,” said Vonchelle Stembridge, Facility Coordinator at Bradley Academy Museum and Cultural Center. “We are excited to create a learning experience to the community to share the importance of this holiday. I am honored to be able to host this event and even more proud of my community coming together to share with Rutherford County and neighboring communities. We look forward to our community coming out to celebrate Juneteenth.”

Bradley Academy was built in 1806 as the first school for education of white males only. In 1884, African American students, males and females, were allowed to attend school. The current structure was built in 1917 and opened as the new school for African American students in 1918. Today, Bradley Academy Museum and Cultural Center is managed by Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information about Juneteenth and Bradley Academy, visit murfreesborotn.gov, or contact Stembridge at 615-962-8773, or [email protected]

Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department is dedicated to providing vibrant public spaces and inclusive programs delivered with visionary leadership and caring staff that engage the individual and strengthen the quality of life of our community.

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