Suffolk Public Library plans for Juneteenth

Published 5:43 pm Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Suffolk Public Library has a week full of events to help the city celebrate Juneteenth.

The first event took place on June 11. This event was a cooking demonstration from Debra Brabson of Now You’re Cooking Culinary Studio. She made a Texas Tea Cake and explained its relevance to Juneteenth. The video is still up on the library’s social media page for those who want to learn more.

At 5:30 p.m. June 14, the library hosted Sharran Taylor, also known as Kween Yakini, a poet in Hampton Roads for Rhymes and Rhythm. Taylor recited poems that visually and emotionally explained the significance of Juneteenth. Folks can also view this presentation online.

“The presentation will give the history in an emotional and powerful way,” said Shauntae Holloway, the Juneteenth event lead at the Suffolk Public Library.

At 5 p.m. on June 17, an in-person line dance class at the Morgan Memorial Library will be led by Holloway. This event will help folks learn or brush up on popular line dances in preparation for Juneteenth celebrations.

“The line dance is one of the first in-person events back at the library,” said Holloway. “I hope everyone can come out and celebrate with us.”

The library will be closed in observance of Juneteenth on June 18-19. To celebrate the day, a prerecorded video will premier on June 19. During this celebration, Sylvia Bond will read a dramatic poem and Andre Riddick will play the saxophone along with other performances.

Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of slaves after the Civil War. As the festivities and celebrations go on, it’s important to remember the significance of the day.

“I think it is important, especially in this day and age, to remember it’s not just a party but a chance to learn the rich history,” said Holloway. “It is a big step from where the Black community came from and where it is today. There’s still a long way to go, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

Viewers can watch the online events during the premiere or at a later date at facebook.com/SuffolkPublicLibrary and tinyurl.com/SPLJuneteenth.