HOUSTON – The Houston Museum of African American Culture is scheduled to reopen on Juneteenth after the COVID-19 closure.
“Juneteenth really represents when all Americans were free,” said John Guess, Jr., CEO of HMAAC.
June 19, 1865 was the day enslaved people in Galveston learned they were freed, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
“This Juneteenth is a particularly special one. There’s the prospect of a quote on quote, ‘freedom,’” said Guess.
Also, a special one because the HMAAC will reopen after the COVID-19 shutdown. Guests must wear masks and follow social distancing practices. In addition, employees will be taking temperatures at the entrance.
“HMAAC has always been about a multi-cultural conversation on race,” said Guess.
The conversation of race is at the forefront in our country, considering the death of George Floyd and protests calling for equality for the African American community.
“Start celebrating life, start celebrating our freedom, as we ought to be and as we’re supposed to be and uniting together as a black people,” said Floyd Streams, Jr.
Juneteenth was made a state holiday in 1980. This year, many Americans are calling for it to be a federal holiday.
“Anything we can do to emphasize the unfairness, the discrimination,” said John Lewis. “The more light that shines on the problem, the better we’re able to see.”
The better we’re able to see, the more change we can make.
“You get away from some of the divisiveness when you understand, we’re all a part of this country,” said Guess.
The museum is located 4807 Caroline in Houston’s Museum District. It opens at 11 a.m. Friday.
For more information, visit http://hmaac.org/.