The Brenham Heritage Museum is honoring the history of Juneteenth in Washington County with a new exhibit.

Previous Juneteenth royalty's attire that is on
display at the Brenham Heritage Museum as part of
its Juneteenth exhibit.
(courtesy Brenham Heritage Museum)

“Juneteenth: Freedom’s Jubilee” combines photographs, newspaper articles and Juneteenth memorabilia to focus on the celebratory elements of Juneteenth, including parades, coronations, horse races, contests and sporting events.  Guests will be able to view intricate Juneteenth gowns, vintage mantles, and trains from past royalty.

The exhibit opened earlier this month, with a special guest speaker event this past Saturday featuring a Juneteenth film debuted by Emmy Award-winning broadcaster and Brenham native, Don Sharp.

Brenham native and award-winning broadcaster
Don Sharp (right) speaks to visitors to the Brenham
Heritage Museum on Saturday during the
presentation of a film showing Brenham's
Juneteenth celebrations over the years.
(courtesy Brenham Heritage Museum)

According to Brenham Heritage Museum board member Natearah Austin, preparing the content for the exhibit required months of research from the museum’s African American Content Committee, along with community member interviews.  Austin said newspaper articles from the 1880s show that thousands of African Americans from neighboring cities came to Brenham’s well-known Juneteenth celebrations.  She said the museum is “fortunate to have artifacts, interview excerpts, and even detailed newspaper accounts about the festivities.”

Today, Brenham’s Juneteenth celebration continues to draw out-of-town visitors to celebrate freedom.  Throughout the month of June, Brenham hosts several weeks of activities including a parade in downtown Brenham, a coronation to crown royalty, music, food, and family-friendly fun.

Several pieces of history are featured
in the Brenham Heritage Museum's
exhibit celebrating Juneteenth.
(courtesy Brenham Heritage Museum)

The exhibit is on display to members and visitors through June and July in the museum’s Blue Bell Gallery, Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Groups of 10 or more can call the museum at 979-830-8445 to schedule specific times for tours.  Admission is $5 for adults, while children 12 and under get in for free.

Community members are encouraged to contact the museum if they have Juneteenth memorabilia that can be showcased for future exhibits.

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