Remembrance, togetherness, community: These are all themes celebrated annually at the Odell S. Williams Now and Then African-American Museum‘s Juneteenth Roots and Heritage Celebration.
For more than two decades, this event has brought together families, artists and community leaders in commemoration of the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when the Emancipation Proclamation finally spread to the South, freeing hundreds of thousands of slaves. This historic day, commonly referred to as Juneteenth, is now celebrated nationally, although its presence is especially prevalent in the South.
The Odell S. Williams Now and Then African-American Museum’s namesake, former Baton Rouge educator Odell S. Williams, donated dozens of photos and artifacts to the museum decades ago. To this day, it remains the only museum highlighting African-American heritage in Baton Rouge, and it is funded entirely through community donations.
The museum’s Juneteenth celebration will include performances by local musicians and speeches by local community leaders. Food vendors will be on-site, as well as vendors selling African-inspired clothing.
The Odell S. Williams Now and Then African-American Museum’s Juneteenth Roots and Heritage Celebration is free to attend and will take place June 16, noon-5 p.m. The museum is at 538 South Blvd.