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Black Heritage Trail to Celebrate Juneteenth

Published Tuesday May 3, 2022

Black Heritage Trail to Celebrate Juneteenth

The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire’s 2022 Juneteenth Celebration from June 10 to June 20, is filled with a host of activities guaranteed to excite the entire community. This year’s theme “The Gift: Celebrating African American Public Arts,” will focus on the collective endeavors of Black artists in many forms: visual arts, music, and dance. 

The festivities begin on Friday, June 10 at dusk with a showing of Pixar’s “Soul” at Prescott Park. This film is presented in partnership with the Prescott Park Arts Festival as a special event in their Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Movie Series and is free and open to the public. 

The celebration continues on Saturday, June 11, with a bus tour to Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park in Cornish, NH, to see the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment Memorial and to learn about the African American who inspired the bronze sculpture.  The tour will be presented by Ph.D. Candidate Dana Gree, Public History and Art Fellow at the park.  The tour includes the house, studio, and gardens of the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Registration is required for this event. 

On Friday June 17, an artist panel entitled “Bearing Witness: Black Art in Public Spaces,” will be held in Manchester at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Panelists will discuss the local art scene and the role of the Black artist in predominately white spaces. Panelists include Sam Collins III, Juneteenth Historian & Public Art Creator, Galveston, TX; Joel Christian-Gill, Graphic novelist and cartoonist, Derry, NH; Richard Haynes, Artist, Educator & Visual Storyteller, Portsmouth, NH; Cecilia Ulibarri, President & Co-Founder Positive Street Art, Nashua, NH; and Manuel “Phelany” Ramirez, Artist-In-Residence & Co-Founder, Positive Street Art, Nashua, NH. 

On Saturday, June 18, BHTNH will partner with the Music Hall in Portsmouth, to present “Let it Shine: The Howard Gospel Choir Sings the Gospel.” This event promises to be a spirit-lifting gospel concert by students, alumni, and community members from Howard University. 

Sunday, June 19, join us at the African Burying Ground for a lively step performanceprogram produced by Najee Brown Theater by the People entitled, “UPROAR: A Celebration of African American Creativity.“ UPROAR is a high-energy performance that introduces audiences to the unique lineages of African American dance demonstrating how enslaved people on American soil used stepping as a vehicle for communication, self-expression, and joy. 

BHTNH will close the celebration on Monday, June 20, with the creation of a public art piece in a program entitled, “The Art of Erasure: Gone But Never Forgotten.”  Award-winning public artist Napoleon Jones-Henderson will lead a community workshop and street art project where participants will create a piece that the community will paint on a Portsmouth street. As the art fades, a video recording will be made to document its erasure. The eradication of the African Burying Ground in the 19th century serves as a literal example of the erasure of Black people from New Hampshire’s history.   

Artist Credit: Napoleon Jones Henderson 

For more information for all of these events and to register, visit

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