Elon University is partnering with the African American Cultural Arts and History Center for the June 15 celebrations
Elon University will partner with the African American Cultural Arts and History Center in Burlington on June 18 to celebrate June 18. Parishioners can take one of three 75-minute tours of the new center, including the Juneteenth & Black Alamance exhibit. ”
June 19, now known as the June 10th National Independence Day, was declared a federal holiday by President Joseph Biden today. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 when the end of slavery was announced in Galveston, Texas.
John Robinson-Miller, assistant director of the university’s Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education, said he looks forward to community members learning not only the history of Juneteenth nationally and globally, but also locally in Alamance.
“As a community, we also need to know the story that happened primarily in Elon,” said Robinson-Miller. “This is a way to tie all of these things together.”
Jane Sellars, an Alamance County native and prominent leader in the African American community, envisioned creating a space that would educate, sustain, and bring the community together. In 2017 she founded the African American Cultural Arts and History Center.
Today the center is run by Shineece Sellars, the daughter of the late Jane Sellars. As managing director of the center, Sellars has followed in her mother’s footsteps and takes on every aspect of her role as a leader.
Sellars has always been connected to the people of the organization, and her new position has allowed her to grow closer together and learn from her fellow human beings on a new level.
“My role was more behind the scenes; my background was more in accounting and finance, ”said Sellars. “Since my mother’s death, I have taken on her position as director and managed the day-to-day business of the center.”
Although the role is very time-consuming, Sellars says she enjoys learning and interacting with the community.
AACAHC opened the doors to their permanent physical space in Burlington in early April and serves as a cultural site and museum focusing on personal and generational history. The museum preserves genealogy and tells numerous stories about people who made a lasting impact on African American history in Alamance and the surrounding counties.
Previously, the initiative had no physical space and had to use common spaces such as the public library and theater. Garry Wiley Jr., a founding member of the center and chairman of the board, said they are thrilled to have the physical space to store their collections.
“This will help us open the door to future programming, such as genealogy classes that we wanted so badly to do,” said Wiley.
Tours are held on June 18 at 9:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 3:00 pm in the center at 2381 Corporation Parkway, NC 27215. Pre-registration for the tours is required.