KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — August 8 marks the Day of Emancipation in Tennessee when Andrew Johnson freed the enslaved Black people from his home in Greeneville around 7 months after then-President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.
The Beck Cultural Exchange Center is planning a weekend filled with events to commemorate the day. Starting Friday, they held a free concert on the Beck Center lawn with Evelyn Jack and The Summer Soul Witty Band. Then, on Saturday, they planned to lead the Emancipation Celebration during the 37th Annual Lonsdale Homecoming at 11 a.m.
On Sunday, they also planned the 8th Annual Libation Ceremony starting at 7:30 a.m. It is meant to be a special tribute to enslaved Black Americans who were freed on August 8, 1863, with Ned Arter, who is the great-great-grandson of Sam Johnson, who was emancipated on August 8, 1863.
Finally, that Monday, they will return to the Historic Tennessee Theatre for the premier of a ticketed movie called After Selma. The documentary discusses the voting rights of Black Americans and voter suppression after the Civil Rights era in the 1960s.