Jun. 12—Cobb County cities and organizations are hosting events to commemorate Juneteenth, which celebrates the end of slavery in the U.S.
The Cobb NAACP's 18th annual Juneteenth celebration will bring festivities to Glover Park in Marietta Square on Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19.
Friday's event runs from 7-10 p.m. and will feature jazz, R&B and spoken word performances. John Boy & Surround Sound will close out the evening.
Saturday's celebration is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
On Saturday, Cobb NAACP President Jeriene Bonner-Grimes estimates there will be more than 80 vendors on the Square selling everything from food to jewelry to doormats. Event organizers have partnered with Walmart to offer free COVID-19 vaccines on-site. Another organization will be providing health screenings, including diabetes and blood pressure screenings.
After Saturday's event ends, the Strand Theatre is screening "Selma," the 2014 movie about the 1965 Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches, at 8 p.m.
Bonner-Grimes said she hopes the event provides "an array of awareness and education and fellowship, and the significance of what Juneteenth commemorates as a day of freedom."
"The Juneteenth celebration is an opportunity to bring some healing and unity to our community," she said.
Bonner-Grimes emphasized that Juneteenth is open to the entire community and said she hopes to attract a diverse crowd.
"Everybody's welcome to come and celebrate and enjoy," she said.
Today, the William Root House is hosting a free event to recognize Juneteenth, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A guided tour of the house will be followed by the unveiling of a garden sculpture dedicated to "the many enslaved people who lived in Marietta prior to the end of the Civil War whose names were not recorded and are now lost to time."
The sculpture was created in partnership with Kennesaw State University's Master Craftsman Program in the School of Art. The sculpture was made by 3D scanning Misha Harp, the Root House's living history interpreter, and cutting the metal. Made of thin pieces of steel with a rusted finish, the sculpture is not visible when viewed from the front but takes the form of a woman when viewed from the side.
"So the symbolism in that, it's the same with the documentation, is that the people were present, but were not recorded or seen," said Trevor Beemon, executive director of Cobb Landmarks.
The Root House event will also feature a presentation from genealogist Christopher Smothers on Black genealogy research, storytelling sessions for children and cooking demonstrations of mid-19th century cooking practices.
On June 19, the city of Acworth is holding its own Juneteenth celebration from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Logan Farm Park. A free concert from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. will feature the Total Package Band. Food and drink will be sold by Red Top Brewhouse. Tables seating six people can be purchased for $25 until noon on June 18. Attendees can also bring blankets and folding chairs.
The city of Powder Springs is hosting a virtual Juneteenth event June 19 from 4-6 p.m. in partnership with Unity in HIStory Outreach Foundation. The event will be livestreamed on the foundation's website and will be followed by a virtual walk at 6.
In Kennesaw, the police department is hosting a "One Community: A Celebration of Unity" event. It will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Kennesaw First Baptist Church.