ACC commemorates Juneteenth

Austin Community College invites the community to celebrate Juneteenth at its annual Sounds of Freedom festival Friday, June 17, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Eastview Campus (3401 Webberville Rd.).

The free event features live entertainment, games and family-friendly activities, vendor booths, and a domino tournament. Participants who wear flip-flop sandals will get a free smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Café.

Juneteenth commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in 1865. ACC’s Eastview Campus hosts the celebration in recognition of east Austin’s grassroots involvement in the civil rights movement.

Juneteenth Parade in Austin, Texas

Juneteenth Parade in Austin, Texas

“Our annual Juneteenth program is a collaboration that celebrates the history of our freedom and engages our Eastview Campus community,” says Loretta Edelen, ACC community outreach director. “We invite the entire community to come learn about ACC and be a part of the celebration.”

The Sounds of Freedom schedule includes:

  • 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Readings, activities, and performances by Smooth & EZ Hand Dancers of Texas and Step-N-Motion swing dance group; Building 3000, Rooms 3154/3156
  • 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.: Family and youth showcase with entertainment, a DJ, and games; Eastview courtyard
  • Noon-1 p.m.: Lunch in the Courtyard, the Student Lounge, or in Room 3158
  • 2-3:30 p.m.: Domino tournament; Student Lounge

In addition, ACC students, faculty, and staff will participate in the Juneteenth Emancipation parade on Saturday, June 18. The event begins at 10 a.m. at Comal Street and MLK Boulevard.

The community also is invited to learn about slave life in early Austin at a free presentation by ACC History Professor Andres Tijerina. “In the Shadow of the Dome: Slave Life in Austin, Texas,” looks at slave life and emancipation as recorded by the Travis County Slave Narratives in the 1930s. The presentation is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, at the Austin History Center (810 Guadalupe St.).

Sponsors of the Juneteenth celebration include ACC’s Male Leadership Program, which provides support for minority students and promotes involvement in the community.

“It is essential to understand the value of celebrating historical events that highlight victories in creating equality for all,” says Jarrell McCullar, Male Leadership Program coordinator. “Participating in the Juneteenth activities gives ACC students an opportunity to stay connected and celebrate the past.”

For more information on ACC’s Juneteenth celebrations, contact Loretta Edelen at 512-223-5186 or edelen@austincc.edu and Phyllis Clark at 512-223-5186 or pclark@austincc.edu.

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