The Nantucket Book Foundation, on the weekend it would traditionally hold its festival, will present a live virtual event celebrating Juneteenth and speaking to issues of race in America. On Thursday, June 17 at 7 pm, this live virtual event will feature a panel of four authors who are educators, historians, and artists— Dr. Keisha N. Blain, Imani Perry, Deesha Philyaw, and Clint Smith—hosted by writer and author Mitchell S. Jackson.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure all enslaved people were freed—two-and-a-half years behind the rest of the nation in enforcing Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. It is a day of remembering, a moment to take stock of America’s history of centuries of slavery, the reverberations of which shake our nation still. Juneteenth is a time of celebration, a marking of freedom and emancipation: a tradition that celebrates the resilience, strength, courage and determination of the indomitable human spirit to survive.
During a year in which issues of racial justice, equity, and diversity have risen to center stage, this powerhouse panel will help viewers listen and learn so our past will inform our future.
Join the Nantucket Book Festival for this dynamic, enlivening, powerful conversation that seeks to amplify voices that speak to these issues of race in America, and how Juneteenth might magnify concerns—and hopes—for the country. To participate, register at nantucketbookfestival.org/events. A link to the online program will be sent to registrants the day before the event.
The Nantucket Book Festival operates under the Nantucket Book Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded to celebrate and promote the joys and rewards of reading and writing. The organization seeks to present an annual quality program that honors national, regional and local authors and the rich culture of the written word.
Working together with island educators, The Nantucket Book Foundation brings its Visiting Author program into island schools and holds an annual Young Writers Award essay competition for high school students. These programs encourage students to find a platform of words and a love of reading to understand that while they may live on an island, there is no limit to imagination.