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Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our wretched history, that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.  

Official Screening June 19, 2024 Reserve Tickets

Co-produced by OMG Studios and the Minnesota Humanities Center, this documentary challenges our understanding of slavery, its impact on Minnesota, and how we reconcile our past by taking viewers on a present-day journey to Ghana, to the quarters of Harriet and Dred Scott, and into conversations with current and future scholars. Featuring Akwamu Traditional Area’s King Odeneho Kwafo Akoto, III and Queen Mother Nana Afrakoma, II, of West Africa, Ghana, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter III, MN Humanities CEO Kevin Lindsey, St. Cloud State University American Studies Chair and Minnesota Book Award Winner Dr. Christopher Lehman, and Minnesota creative treasures T. Mychael Rambo, Thomasina Petrus and concluding with voices of the Black Youth Healing Arts Center (BYHAC).

This year’s documentary film is brought to audiences thanks to Ujamaa Place, St. Paul Public Library and the City of St. Paul.

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Juneteenth Brunch Reserve Tickets

One of the premier gatherings of Minnesota’s thought leaders, creative sector and business leaders, the Minnesota Humanities Center’s Juneteenth Brunch is an opportunity for the community to examine how together we can work toward greater justice and equity, exploring the African American strategy four years after the death of Mr. George Floyd.

The 2024 Juneteenth Brunch will feature a keynote address and community conversation with Bakari Sellers on the thesis of his new book, “The Moment: Thoughts on the Race Reckoning That Wasn’t and How We All Can Move Forward Now.” Sellers is a CNN political analyst and lobbyist for the government of Liberia, and a former member of the South Carolina legislature.

In addition to our Partners in Equity sponsors, this year’s brunch is brought to audiences thanks to the League of Women Voters of Minnesota, Mutual of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota, and Thrivent.

American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation services will be available at this event.

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Juneteenth The Kumbayah Story Reserve Tickets

Minnesota Humanities Center & Northrop Present: Kumbayah the Juneteenth Story

Minnesota Humanities Center and Northrop are proud to bring Kumbayah the Juneteenth Story to the Twin Cities in collaboration with Sweet Potato Comfort Pie and local organizations. In 2021, Juneteenth was written into law as a national day of observance. Following, on February 3rd, 2023, Juneteenth became an official state holiday in Minnesota. Although awareness has grown, many people are still unfamiliar with why we celebrate Juneteenth and the insight it offers in addressing current social injustice.

Kumbayah the Juneteenth Story Performance
Kumbayah the Juneteenth Story, written by Rose McGee, is a 90-minute fictitious, two-act play that addresses a factual and traumatic time in our history – when news was deliberately withheld that Black people were no longer to be kept as slaves in this country. Storytelling and music weave together mesmerizing scenes. Although tragedy is depicted, this play within a play is tremendously uplifting. The story begins with a Prologue set in the early 1800s in a small West African village where a young mother and her small son are being abducted from their home by slave catchers. Act One: Scene One is set in present time in a popular North Minneapolis soul-food restaurant where a group of youths and adults ultimately end up discussing what Juneteenth means. Before long they all agree to attend a play about Juneteenth. The story then shifts into 1863 on the Turner Plantation in Tyler, Texas with the character Frederick Douglass as Narrator. Immediately following the play, Dr. Amelious Whyte, University of Minnesota’s Interim Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will moderate a 20-minute Q&A with cast, bringing the play back to present time.

Interpretation is best suited for ages 8 and up.

Join us for pre-show activities starting at 10:30 a.m.

American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation services will be available at this event.

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Watch past OMG Studios' Juneteenth Films 2023

The Juneteenth Film: From Galveston, TX to Minnesota

“The Juneteenth Story: From Galveston, Texas to Minnesota,” is a six-episode docufilm, filmed on the Island of Galveston and in Saint Paul, Minnesota, telling the story of Juneteenth, where it originated, from historians and descendants of enslaved persons transported to the island during the Transatlantic Slave Trade between 1816 and 1836. The story connects the significance of making Juneteenth a state holiday in Minnesota.

2022

Juneteenth Commemoration Film 2022

A celebration of African American history, music, art and literature, featuring a special tribute to George Floyd and Philando Castile by Ta-coumba T. Aiken and Seitu Jones.

This film is part of Juneteenth Commemoration 2022 celebration of African American history, music, art, music and literature in partnership with The City of St. Paul, Saint Paul Public Library, MN Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, Ujamaa Place and OMG Studios.

2021

Juneteenth Commemoration 2021

Filmed at the historic Peace and Justice Memorial in Montgomery, AL, which pays tribute victims of racial lynchings featuring Equal Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson and civil rights leader, Dr. Josie R. Johnson.

 Photos courtesy of Equal Justice Initiative

2020

Virtual Juneteenth Celebration 2020

The City of St. Paul welcomes you to a virtual community commemoration of Juneteenth, in partnership with St. Paul Public Library and Ujamaa Place. Music by The War and Treaty and ArtsUs Youth Drummers City of St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter invites the community to hear distinguished local African American leaders share “WHY THEY CELEBRATE JUNETEENTH.” They are: Anthony Galloway Chris Crutchfield Debbie Montgomery Otis Zanders Commissioner Toni Carter Monique Linder Dr. Josie R. Johnson Mary K. Boyd