Eva Abram to tell Juneteenth’s story during Celebrating Freedom event at Edmonds Waterfront Center June 19

Eva Abram

Seattle actress, public speaker, and master storyteller Eva Abram will tell the Juneteenth Story in a special presentation at the Juneteenth at the Beach – Celebrating Freedom event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, on the grounds of the Edmonds Waterfront Center, 220 Railroad Ave., Edmonds.

The annual Festival of Freedom event will include free food, book reading circles, storytelling, music and a free musical film presentation of Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised). The event is organized by Lift Every Voice Legacy (LEVL) and the Edmonds Waterfront Center (EWC) with assistance from the City of Edmonds Parks and Recreation Department.

“Eva is not only an avid lover of history but performs a variety of African American and multicultural stories for adult and children audiences throughout the Puget Sound area in a variety of venues,” said Donnie Griffin, LEVL founder and president. “Her masterful use of gestures, body language, character voices and expressions brings characters to life and richly captivates her listeners. She is one of our favorite presenters.”

Rep. Strom Peterson

As a primary sponsor of legislation making June 19th a paid holiday for Washington State employees in 2021, 21st District Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds, will deliver opening remarks on America’s newest holiday. “Being a recipient of the Snohomish County Office of Social Justice (OSJ) community sponsorship initiative, Mr. Peterson will also be wearing his county councilmember hat as well,” said Robin Ullman, EWC director of operations and outreach. “We appreciate his leadership in equity and justice matters here in Edmonds and throughout our county.”

The documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) captures the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which took place on six Sundays between June 29 and Aug. 24 at Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park) in Harlem, New York. Directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, the film won Best Documentary at the 75th British Academy Film Awards, Best Documentary Feature at the 94th Academy Awards, and Best Musical Film at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards.

Although this is the fourth year LEVL has hosted a Juneteenth Freedom Celebration event in the Edmonds area, for the last two years the local nonprofit has joined forces with EWC and the City of Edmonds in holding the observance of this new national holiday, which has been a celebration of African Americans for nearly 160 years, according to Griffin.

Juneteenth – also known as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day – is a portmanteau of June 19 and marks the day when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 and informed the last enslaved outpost of African Americans in the Confederate South that they were no longer under bondage.

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