Congo Square Preservation Society drummer Luther Gray will lead a Juneteenth procession in Algiers. Photo of "Congo Square" by Adewale Adenle

Algiers to host drumming events commemorating Juneteenth

Juneteenth, the American holiday celebrating the day Texas abolished slavery in 1865, will be commemorated in Algiers with a special drumming exhibit event.

On Wednesday, June 19, Juneteenth will be celebrated in conjunction with the International Day of Drumming and Healing, “which provides an opportunity for members of the African-descended community to remember the millions of Africans — men, women, and children — who were taken from their native lands and died along the route from Africa to the Americas,” according to a press release.

To acknowledge the two dates simultaneously (plus the tricentennial anniversary of Algiers), there will be a procession and musical programming paying homage to ancestors, including those from New Orleans. From 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., the Algiers Point Ferry Landing will be the site of a parade, where a group “will perform music much like that which will be performed in locations throughout the U.S. to South America and Africa to commemorate the day.” Congo Square Preservation Society drummer Luther Gray will lead the procession.

From noon until 7 p.m., musicians will gather in Old Algiers at the former Black Star Caffe (800 Belleville St.) to perform material honoring the Maroon history of the area. Namely, resistance leader Juan St. Malo (hung by the Spanish government in Jackson Square on June 19, 1784) and his fellow Maroons who settled in Algiers will be honored. Organizers will also honor indigenous peoples of the Americas with African heritage.

For more information on the day’s events, which are all open to the public, click here.