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Athens-Clarke County Juneteenth Events Kick Off This Week

The Morton Theatre plays host to several Juneteenth events this month. Credit: Jessica Smith/file

For the first time, the Athens-Clarke County government is sponsoring Juneteenth celebrations to commemorate the end of slavery after the Civil War. Some highlights include:

June 2: The historic Morton Theatre presents Just Mercy, a 2019 film starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx about a young lawyer who freed a wrongfully convicted death row inmate in Alabama. Seating is first come, first served. The lobby opens at 6 p.m., and doors to the theater open at 7 p.m.

June 4: Join the Town & Gown Players for a taped presentation of Athens Vignettes, a play by Roshaunda Breeden that addresses Linnentown, the remains discovered underneath Baldwin Hall and other issues. Breeden’s talk starts at 8 p.m. on the Lyndon House Arts Center lawn; bring blankets and chairs. The screening follows a half-hour later.

June 8 and 14: Hattie Thomas Whitehead, one of the residents whose home was destroyed to make way for UGA’s Baxter Street dorms in the 1960s, discusses urban renewal and her book Giving Voice to Linnentown at 2 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club.

June 12: Jazz group the James Weismann Quartet plays at 2 p.m. at Ebenezer Baptist Church West, a historic African American church located at 205 N. Chase St.

June 16: Take a tour of the Morton Theatre, one of the first vaudeville theaters built and run by a Black man, Monroe “Pink” Morton, as well as the cornerstone of the Hot Corner, historically the center of commerce in Athens’ Black community. The 4 p.m. tour will be led by facility supervisor Lynn Green.

June 17: The movie Harriett, about Harriett Tubman of Underground Railroad fame, screens at 9:30 p.m. on the Lyndon House lawn.

June 18: The West Broad Farmers Market holds a Juneteenth celebration from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Rocksprings Park. Later, visit Holland Park for a “family reunion-style event” from 5-9 p.m. featuring kickball and other games, live music, DJs and food trucks.

These are just a few of the in-person and online events taking place over the next two-and-a-half weeks. Visit ACC’s Juneteenth website for a full schedule.