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McAllen Hosting 2020 Juneteenth Observation

Series of events to celebrate history of African-American culture in McAllen

The South Texas College Library Art Gallery and the RGV Juneteenth Committee observe Juneteenth 2020 with three days of virtual programming, June 17 – 19, 2020, on the STC Library Blog found at: https://library.southtexascollege.edu/tag/juneteenth/ beginning June 17th at 8 a.m.

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the abolition of slavery in the United States, enacted on June 19, 1865, when news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached Texas. It is celebrated every June 19 and is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in forty-five states, including Texas.

McAllen celebrations and events will begin on Saturday, June 13 and run until June 19, 2020, with a proclamation of the historical observation with McAllen Mayor Jim Darling. Clean-up events, cultural arts and book displays, a documentary and screening are just some of the events scheduled for the celebration, this year highlighting the theme “Perfecting Unity.” For more information about events across the RGV, visit: www.juneteenthrgv.com

“It is important to recognize the historical and cultural contributions of African-Americans to the city and appreciate the value of diversity. We are devoted to ensuring the equitable and inclusive treatment of all citizens and visitors to our community,” said Mayor Darling. “In fact, now more than ever, we need healthy and respectful dialogue that addresses the issue of race relations of this and every community in the United States. I hope everyone in the community can come take part of this celebration.”

McAllen’s celebrations will be capped off with a brief reflection service on Friday, June 19 that will begin at Bethel Garden, 1322 S 16th St., starting at 10:00 a.m.  Immediately following the ceremony, a “CARavan” will take off from Faith Fellowship Church, 600 S. 21st St., and make its way to McAllen City Hall, 1300 W. Houston Ave., for a proclamation celebration at 12:00 p.m.

Here in the Rio Grande Valley, the African American community continues to grow, especially in McAllen where the African-American population is roughly 1% of the total 143,000 residents.

For a full list of events and activities go to the Rio Grande Valley Juneteenth website at http://juneteenthrgv.com or contact the South Texas College Library at (956) 872-3488, gotvos@southtexascollege.edu or visit: https:library.southtexascollege.edu.

Saturday, June 13

7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Site Improvement/Clean-Up Day

Bethel Garden, 1322 S 16 Street (Park at ROOMS TO GO, 1400 W Expressway 83)

This Texas Historical Landmark is the former site of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. where housing was provided for African American teachers and visitors back in 1941. The event will feature a personalized Juneteenth Expression and Reflection Board for volunteers.

Wed., June 17 – Fri., June 19

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Cultural Arts and Book Display

South Texas College Library Lobby, 3201 W. Pecan Blvd.

Featuring a personalized Juneteenth Expression and Reflection Board.

Wednesday, June 17

8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. “Just a Ferry Ride to Freedom” Documentary Film Screening

Featuring Associate Pastor Nick Maddox, former Pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church as narrator. Livestream presentations to all South Texas College campuses and the general public.

Thursday, June 18

8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Interview with Muralist: Bethel Baptist Missionary Church and Booker T. Washington School Screening

Located at South 16th and Booker T. Washington Ave., this mural by Cristela Cano depicts the importance of the African American church and the Booker T. Washington School that were a part of what was once a thriving African American neighborhood in McAllen.

Friday, June 19

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Juneteenth 2.5 Mile CARavan

This 2.5 mile car caravan features a Brief Reflection Service at Bethel Garden and the 2020 Juneteenth Observance Proclamation at McAllen City Hall. Begins at 10 a.m. at 600 S 21st St. in McAllen. This will be live streamed.

All virtual events are free and open to the public and can be found here https://library.southtexascollege.edu/tag/juneteenth/ beginning June 17th at 8 a.m.