Cleveland Public Library celebrates Juneteenth with cultural programs, activities

Cleveland Public Library
Cleveland Public Library((Source: CPL))
Published: Jun. 8, 2021 at 8:50 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 8:03 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Juneteenth or Freedom Day celebrates when an estimated 250,000 slaves in Texas were told they were freed. This comes two years after the Emancipation Proclamation outlawed slavery in the United States.

The Cleveland Public Library kicks off the celebration Saturday, June 12.

  • Saturday, June 12 at 12 p.m. - Candid conversation about owning your future in Black America with Columbia University associate professor and author John McWhorter and author and podcaster Coleman Hughes. Registration is now open on for this virtual event. McWhorter’s latest book, Nine Nasty Words, will be given to attendees on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Tuesday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m. - Controlled Narrative: Telling Our Own Story. A conversation about Black Glenville will focus on the importance of owning, controlling, and preserving Black history through the art of storytelling. Interested attendees can register here for this event.
  • Thursday, June 17 at 4:30 p.m. - Reparations: A Path to Healing is the topic of the next Writers & Readers workshop. YWCA Greater Cleveland’s President & CEO Margaret Mitchell will facilitate the discussion. She believes reparations will help people of color begin to heal and move forward from system racism. Registration is required. Interested attendees can sign up here.
  • Friday, June 18 at 10 a.m., - Cleveland Public Library will tackle the vestiges of the Confederacy. The Library will host a virtual screening of the documentary, Monumental Crossroads which explores Confederate monuments, the legacy of Southern Heritage, and its ties to slavery and white supremacy. After the screening, there will be a discussion with film director Tim Van den Hoff of Gander Yonder Pictures. Register here for the documentary screening and discussion.
  • Friday, June 18 at 2 p.m - Get inspired at the Cleveland Public Library – Glenville Branch when spoken word artist Siaara Freeman performs in the garden.
  • Saturday, June 19 at 12:00 p.m. - In partnership with The Soul of Philanthropy Cleveland (TSOPCLE), Cleveland Public Library will present a conversation, entitled What is Free? about the origins of Juneteenth. TSOPCLE and a panel of experts will help bridge the gap between corporate investors and community members to bring awareness about issues that impact the black people living in Cleveland. They will provide guidance on how to attain sustainable freedom through healthy habits and lifestyle changes. The event will also include a choir performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and traditional African dance and drum by Djapo Cultural Arts Institute.

For a complete list of Juneteenth events at Cleveland Public Library or a list of recommended reads, visit

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