Juneteenth: A Celebration of African Culture, Music, and Cuisine

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Join us as for a celebration of African culture, music, and cuisine with a special event catered by CIA graduate and owner of Essie’s Restaurant in Poughkeepsie, Chef Brandon Walker. Chef Walker will be consulting with culinary historian Michael Twitty on the evening's menu. Author of The Cooking Gene, Twitty is a food writer, independent scholar, and historical interpreter whose work preserves and promotes African American foodways, its parent traditions in Africa, and its legacy in the food culture of the American South.

Terry James, Board Member of the Slave Dwelling Project, will speak about the meaning of Juneteenth, dressed in his reenactment uniform of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, one of the first official African American units in the United States during the Civil War.

Dynamic musician and storyteller Kim Harris will perform songs of joy, hope, and freedom, combining a strong folk and gospel legacy with classical, rock, and pop influences. Harris has earned wide acclaim for her contributions to the historical and educational knowledge base on the Underground Railroad and the modern civil rights movement. More than just a singer/songwriter, she is an educator, interpreter of history, and cultural advocate.

Terry James will spend another night on Huguenot Street as he did in September 2016, this time with #BlackStoriesMatter writers from TMI Project. James has slept in over 40 slave dwellings in shackles to commemorate the enslaved ancestors who survived the Middle Passage, bringing awareness to historic slave dwellings' existence, history, and need for preservation. TMI Project in a non-profit offering transformative memoir and monologue writing workshops and performances. Participants will craft future monologues inspired by their overnight experience in a historic slave dwelling on Huguenot Street.