State College ‘Liberation Weekend’ kicks off with Juneteenth Jubilee

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Juneteenth has officially been declared as a national holiday. (source: Associated Press)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) –The State College community will start “Liberation Weekend” tonight by celebrating Black art, businesses and excellence at the Juneteenth Jubilee.

Juneteenth is a celebration of Black liberation in the U.S. on June 19, 1865. The jubilee takes place June 18 at 6 p.m. at Sidney Friedman Parklet, and it will follow up with other events tomorrow.

The event will feature performances by musicians and poets, powerful words and reflections by local activists and politicians, appearances by Black Greek organizations, and information promoting local Black-owned businesses, according to a press release.

It is being organized by two local Black community leaders and entrepreneurs, Tierra Williams of “Black Tea,” and Latisha Franklin of “Gratified Grad, LLC.”

It’s reported that today’s celebration will honor Dr. “Mama” King, a tireless advocate, historian and powerful positive force in the Centre Region community. She gave tours of the Bellefonte locations involved in the Underground Railroad until she passed away Jan. 7.

Her life’s work continues to inspire a new generation, the release said. Funds raised by the event will benefit her church, the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Bellefonte. Donations to the church can be made via PayPal or by visiting the jubilee’s website.

Other events taking place this weekend include “Freedom Flex” tomorrow, June 19, from 10 to 11 a.m. at Sidney Friedman Parklet.

Beginning at 7 p.m. tomorrow, there will also be a “Freedom Film” at The State Theatre on College Avenue. Tickets can be purchased on the theatre’s website to watch Judas and the Black Messiah.

To close off the weekend Sunday, there will be a “Community Connection” event at 5 p.m. at Sidney Friedman Parklet. All people of African descent are encouraged to addend to build connections within the Black community in State College.

For more questions regarding this weekend’s events, you can email Williams at

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