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By Stephanie Smittle

Noon-6 p.m. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. Free.


Loathe as the former Confederate states were to relinquish the power structures that facilitated slavery (reluctant still to this day, many would argue), it was a full two and a half years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 that Union Army General Gordon Granger arrived at Texas’ gulf-side doorstep and informed Texans that “in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” That day has come to be known as Juneteenth, a time set aside for acknowledging and celebrating black achievement — and for educating ourselves about it. Truth be told, that’s not a focus earmarked for a single day so much as it is a mission statement for this particular venue. Year-round the walls, display cases and gift shop shelves at the Mosaic Templars pay homage to enterprises and creative endeavors of black people in Arkansas and, more broadly, the South. For Juneteenth 2019, the museum’s live music lineup is headlined by Grammy-nominated R&B singer Carl Thomas (above) and Grammy-nominated gospel singer/songwriter VaShawn Mitchell. Festivities include a 3-on-3 basketball tournament with brackets for four men’s, women’s, youth and special abilities divisions; a Level Up Youth Dance Competition with divisions for ages 8-13 and ages 14-19; food trucks; games; a kids zone; and other daytime opportunities for frolic. The day also marks the opening of a new exhibit at Mosaic Templars, “Finding Freedom in the Forest: Opportunities and Challenges for African Americans in the Timber Industry,” with age-appropriate explorations for toddlers and nerdy historians alike. See mosaictemplarscenter.com for details. SS


June 15, 2019
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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