KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Beck Cultural Exchange Center is putting on a number of different events to recognize an important date in Tennessee’s history.
On August 8, 1863, then-Tennessee Military Governor and future U.S. president Andrew Johnson freed enslaved people in the state. Since then, the day has marked a day of celebration for many residents in the Volunteer State.
“We have commemorated [the eighth of August] as the official start of emancipation in the state of Tennessee. We’re excited to commemorate that date and to share educational programming with our community about what that date means,” said Reverend Renee Kesler, the director of the Beck Center.
On Friday, the Beck Center will have a concert on their lawn featuring Evelyn Jack & the Summer Soul Whitty Band. At 11 a.m. on Saturday, the Beck will lead the Emancipation Celebration during the parade of the 37th Annual Lonsdale Homecoming. A libation tribute ceremony will take place on Sunday morning. In attendance will be the great-great grandson of Ned Arter, the father of Emancipation Day celebrations. Monday’s festivities will be happening at the Tennessee Theatre where there will be a screening of After Selma. The special guests on that day are activist JoAnne Bland and Emmy-winning filmmaker Loki Mulholland.
The Beck Cultural Exchange Center hosts a number of different events throughout the year. If you would like to find out more about this events or way you can get involved, you can head to the Beck Cultural Exchange Center website for more information.