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The original item was published from 6/1/2022 9:06:07 AM to 6/22/2022 12:00:11 AM.

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Posted on: June 1, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Norfolk Recognizes Juneteenth

City to commemorate holiday with a week of educational community events

NORFOLK, VA – For the second consecutive year, the City of Norfolk is recognizing the Juneteenth holiday as a part of its commitment to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Norfolk first acknowledged Juneteenth as an official city holiday in 2020 and will observe it publicly on Monday, June 20. As a result, all city offices will be closed.

The city plans to commemorate the holiday with a week of events to educate residents on the day’s historical significance. These events will take place in addition to the Juneteenth in the Park event the city is hosting in partnership with Festevents and local partners on Saturday, June 18, in Town Point Park.

The week will kick off with a trivia contest hosted by Norfolk Public Library (NPL) from June 13 – 17. During that time, residents can answer trivia questions posted daily on NPL’s Facebook page or by visiting their local branch to submit answers. Those who answer correctly will be entered into a drawing to receive a prize package consisting of an Ancestry DNA Kit, a Flavors of Africa: Discover Authentic Family Recipes from All Over the Continent cookbook, the 1619 Project book collection, and a Ghanaian Wing U-Shopper Bolga Basket.

NPL will also host two virtual storytelling events on Saturday, June 18. First, performance poet and Suffolk native Nathan Richardson will portray Frederick Douglass in “Frederick Douglass: On Slavery and Emancipation,” which will premiere at 8 a.m. As part of the performance, Richardson will tell tales from Douglass’ life and recite an excerpt from his most famous speech, “What To The Slave is the 4th of July.” Then, at 2 p.m., residents can tune in to NPL’s Facebook page to Celebrate Juneteenth with Storyteller Eunice Shands as she conducts a virtual talk on the book The 1619 Project: Born on the Water. 

Residents looking to commemorate the holiday with in-person activities can attend the Community Day at Richard Tucker Library from noon to 4 p.m. The event will be a recognition of Juneteenth, Black Music Month, and the library’s Summer Reading Program Kickoff and will include arts and crafts, a children’s village, inflatables and a StoryWalk® with 1619 Project book Born on the Water.

In addition to the Community Day, Slover Library will host a Juneteenth Freedom Festival from 1 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. This free family event will feature drum circles, African dance classes, music trivia, art, a living history museum, and an "At the Table" soul food exhibit. The event will conclude with a theatrical performance, "Juneteenth the Production," where visitors journey back in time with two grandparents to learn the historical significance of Freedom Day (Juneteenth). For more information on all of these events, visit www.norfolk.gov/Juneteenth.

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