OKLAHOMA CITY—The Oklahoma Historical Society will celebrate Juneteenth with a free program at the Oklahoma History Center on Tuesday, June 18, from 5 to 8 p.m.


Juneteenth is the celebration of emancipation following the U.S. Civil War. U.S. Army General Gordon Granger proclaimed the end of slavery in Texas at Galveston on June 19, 1865. This news and celebration spread to the enslaved people of Indian Territory throughout that summer.

The event, titled “2024 Juneteenth: Honor, Reflect, and Celebrate!,” will educate the public about the history of Juneteenth with a book signing, live performances, discussions and more.


Author Archietta Burch James will sign copies of her book “Francis Clinton: A Buffalo Soldier, and American Hero” starting at 5 p.m. Francis Clinton is James’ great-grandfather, one of the original Buffalo Soldiers.

The program will start at 6 p.m., with Laura Johnson serving as the emcee. Johnson is Ms. Black Oklahoma USA 2024. She grew up in Chickasha and attended Langston University. Johnson also served in the Oklahoma National Guard as a Signal Support Systems Specialist before being honorably discharged due to an injury. Johnson currently works as a high school cheer coach.

Morgan Crawford will sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Black national anthem. Some Oklahoma fifth graders will participate in a panel discussion. Jimmie White Jr. will honor the past and discuss the history of Juneteenth. Musicians Felix Linden and Jaruhba Lambeth will perform songs that reflect on the progress made. Belle Sanon will perform a poem that builds on the promise of freedom for all. The Xinos and Kudos of the Gamma Epsilon chapter of Phi Delta Kappa will also perform.


Speakers include Dr. Raushan Ashanti-Alexander, assistant principal at Douglass High School in Oklahoma City, and Shirley Nero, a member of the OHS Board of Directors and current president of the Friends of the OHS Multicultural Office Board of Directors.


This event is sponsored by the Oklahoma Historical Society and Medina Exploration. Support is provided by the Black Heritage Committee.

No registration is required. Light refreshments will be served at the event.

The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.