Smith Robertson Museum To Celebrate Juneteenth With Dinner and New Fund Kickoff

Front of Smith Robertson Museum.
Smith Robertson Museum. Photo courtesy City of Jackson.

The Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center hosts its first-ever Victory Celebration Dinner in honor of the Juneteenth national holiday on Friday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. This event kicks off support for the Friends of the Smith Robertson Museum Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi, where donations directly support the museum’s mission of preserving and showcasing African-American culture and history.

“We are incredibly grateful and excited to be able to host this event at Smith Robertson Museum and hope that it will be a time to bring our community together to serve a great cause,” Manager of the Smith Robertson Museum Gwendolyn Harmon said. 

The victory dinner honors those who sacrificed their time, efforts, and lives to pursue freedom, justice, and equality. Honored guests in attendance are Civil Rights figures Hezekiah Watkins and James Meredith, as well as the late Richard Wright, in a special tribute and portrait unveiling by local artist Reshonda Perryman. The event is sponsored by Visit Jackson, Cathead Distillery, and the Jackson Bicentennial campaign.

“The Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center is an important piece of the fabric in Jackson,” said Jane Alexander, CEO and President of the Community Foundation for Mississippi. “The stories it tells weave an important narrative about past, present, and future for our city. We are thrilled to be the home for Smith Robertson’s fund and a catalyst for them to build a stronger future, forever.”

“With [the building’s] storied history as Jackson’s first African-American public school, and Smith Robertson Museum’s continued efforts to highlight achievements in the state’s black and African-American communities, we are proud to help sponsor this event to celebrate Juneteenth,” Visit Jackson President and CEO Rickey Thigpen said. 

Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans. It is also often observed to celebrate African-American culture. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it has been celebrated annually on June 19 in various parts of the United States since 1865. To donate to the Friends of Smith Robertson Museum Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi, click here. For more information on the Smith Robertson Museum, click here.