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Saddle Up For Brooklyn Museum's Juneteenth Western Bash

The fourth annual Saddles and Soul: A Juneteenth Black Western Celebration is on Saturday, June 15.
Honoring Juneteenth at the Brooklyn Museum on June 19th, 2022. Photo/Supplied Brooklyn Museum, KOLIN MENDEZ | © 2022 KOLIN MENDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY |

Saddle up your horses and pull out your cowboy boots! 

Brooklyn Museum is hosting its Fourth Annual Saddles and Soul:  A Juneteenth Black Western Celebration event on Saturday, June 15. The day-long event will feature live DJ sets, line dancing lessons, small bites, art-making and more, in celebration of the holiday.  

The annual celebration commemorates the moment on June 19, 1865 where Union troops rode through Galveston Bay, Texas, freeing enslaved Black people two years after the official Emancipation Proclamation was signed. The day was officially made a federal holiday in 2021 under President Joe Biden. 

"It is a collaboration within the Black community to come together and really highlight and bring space into the museum," said Laval Bryant-Quigley, the museum’s director of community engagement and partnerships. 

"It was a way to bring all different diversities and scopes within different neighborhoods together," alongside the museum, she said. 

With this in mind, the event looks to bridge both educational and community engagement for all who wish to attend. Additionally, the museum hopes to shine a spotlight on the joy and freedom of the event, Bryant-Quigley said.

With all eyes on Black country music this year, Brooklyn Museum also wanted to honor some of the greats, including Charley Pride and Etta Baker for their cultural contributions to the genre, Bryant-Quigley added.

The museum is partnering with popular Black-owned businesses to offer diverse activities for visitors of all ages. 

Juneteenth 2022 Souls in Focus backdrop created by the James Umbrella Collective. Photo: Supplied/Brooklyn Museum

One notable activity is a portrait seminar where visitors can have their photos taken by Souls in Focus, an NYC-based, community-driven collective and creative agency co-founded by Henry Danner, Sade Fasanya and Natiah Jones. 

The organization has partnered with the Brooklyn Museum since the event’s inception in 2020 and during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement.  

“It was important for us to work with organizations like Brooklyn Museum who also wanted to not only tap into the Black community, our thoughts, our emotions and our feelings towards what was happening in the country during that time, but also what had been happening in the country during the last 500 years,” Jones told BK Reader. 

Jones said she also wanted to offer an outlet for people from different cultures to understand what black liberation means.

Throughout the day, guests can tap into their competitive side in the museum's game room with popular games like Jenga, Uno and checkers, amongst others. 

The day will also include a denim customization station with Hansel Clothing, art collaging with Texas artist Deborah Roberts and line dancing with Wildcat Ebony Brown

Cookout-style food will be served by the museum's Chef David Thomas, and plant-based restaurant Aunts et. Uncles. Baked goods will be catered by Brooklyn Sweet Spot, which is known for their red velvet cake and banana pudding.   

The museum hopes to create good memories for those in attendance — whether through community, good food or movement, said Bryant-Quigley. 

Find out more information about Brooklyn Museum’s Saddle and Soul Juneteenth event by visiting the website here

Brianna Robles

About the Author: Brianna Robles

Brianna Robles is a Brooklyn, NY based freelance writer and journalist specializing in sharing stories about mental health and spectacular women.
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