Atlanta History Center Celebrates Freedom at Juneteenth Family Program

Join in the commemoration of the Emancipation Proclamation this coming weekend.

Courtesy Atlanta History Cente/Facebook
Courtesy Atlanta History Cente/Facebook
Submitted by the Atlanta History Center

The Atlanta History Center will host a two day celebration of Juneteenth that focuses on the appreciation and commemoration of emancipation from slavery in the United States. Guests participate in festivities throughout the campus, including Meet the Past museum theater performances, kid-friendly hands-on activities, storytelling, genealogy workshops, the premiere of The Order of Freedom, and guest speaker Michael Twitty, an African American culinary historian.

This year Juneteenth holds special significance during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The simultaneous commemoration of these events reminds the community of the importance of freedom, progress, and our shared history and culture – all important themes in the recognition of this holiday.

WHAT: Juneteenth, Atlanta History Center’s annual family program

WHEN: Saturday, June 21, 2014, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Sunday, June 22, 2014, Noon to 5:00 pm 

WHERE: Atlanta History Center; 130 West Paces Ferry Road; Atlanta, GA 

INFORMATION: 404.814.4000; AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Family

ADMISSION: This program is held during a Wells Fargo Free Admission Weekend. Guests receive free admission to all interactive experiences, program activities, historic houses, gardens, and exhibitions, including The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey – Where Art and History Intersect

SUPPORT: Funding for this program is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of Fulton County Arts Council, and Wells Fargo

Program Highlights:

Meet the Past Performances:

The Order of Freedom

Saturday and Sunday at Noon and 2:00 pm, Kennedy Theater

Written by Atlanta History Center award-winning playwright, Addae Moon, The Order of Freedom explores the impact of the issuance of General Order No. 3, by General Gordon Granger, on June 19, 1865, and the challenges faced by Cora and James Lewis as they begin their journey from slavery to citizenship.

Gallery Performances Inspired by the Kinsey Collection

Saturday at 11 and 11:30 am; Sunday at 12:30 and 1:30 pm, The Kinsey Collection exhibition

History comes to life through engaging and interactive Meet the Past museum theatre performances based on a few of the influential African Americans artists and writers featured in The Kinsey Collection. Written by Atlanta History Center playwright, Addae Moon, performances include Ignatius Sancho and Phillis Wheatley.

Smith Family Farm Activities:


Akbar Imhotep on Saturday at 11:15 am and 1:30 pm

Mama Koku on Sunday at 1:00 and 3:00 pm

Energetic master storytellers share engaging folktales.

Guest Speaker:

Michael Twitty, The Cooking Gene: Tracing My African American Story Through Food

Sunday at 3:00 pm

For African American culinary historian Michael W. Twitty there was a giant hole in the story of American cooking as big as the one in the story of most African American families. Putting the microscope on himself, Mr. Twitty decided to fully trace out his family history through the story of Southern and American food. Using genetic research, historic interpretation, nature study, heirloom gardening and interviews with contemporary voices in food, his journey led him back to his family’s origins in West and Central Africa and a front ring seat in the debate over race and food in American life.



Saturday at 1:00 and 3:00 pm

Paula McGuire Saunders, Pamela McGuire Deas, and Sheryl Pollard Riggins, are world-renowned musical performers that deliver songs that linger in the hearts of audiences long after the group has left the stage.

Ongoing Activities:

The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey – Where Art and History Intersect

Self-guided tours

The Kinsey Collection dispels myths and promotes dialogue about African Americans in the making of America. It explores the historic, artistic, and cultural contributions and progress of African Americans through rare and historic artifacts, documents, books, letters, manuscripts, photographs and two- and three-dimensional artwork by African American artists. This traveling exhibition features over 130 items chronicling African American history and culture, including the Emancipation Proclamation, speeches by Frederick Douglass, letters from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as documents, artifacts, and photographs dating from 1600 to the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Jim Crow years, and the Civil Rights Movement.

Turning Point: The American Civil War

Self-guided tours

At 9,200 square feet, Turning Point is the largest Civil War exhibition in the Southeast telling the story of the war from start to finish and beyond. Included are over 1,400 original Union and Confederate artifacts, plus photographs, dioramas, videos and interactive components covering the causes of the war, soldiers’ lives, wartime manufacturing, the home front and the bloody, decisive campaigns of 1864. A final section encourages guests to search for the consequences and meaning of the war, which claimed 670,000 American lives – more than the combined number of Americans killed in all other wars combined from the Revolutionary War through Vietnam.

Food for Sale:

Sweet Auburn BBQ

Available Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

Coca-Cola Café – serving a limited Chick-fil-A menu

Available Saturday at Noon – 2:00 pm


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