Juneteenth festival to highlight award-winning theologian, ‘5’ Royales tribute

Juneteenth festival to highlight award-winning theologian, ‘5’ Royales tribute
June 11
00:00 2015

In photo above: Rev. Byron Williams

 Special to The Chronicle 

The 11th annual Triad Juneteenth Africana Festival will celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the United States and will feature the Rev. Byron Williams, an award-winning author; and honor popular 1950s R&B vocal group the “5” Royales, with a special tribute. 

The outdoor event will be Saturday, June 20, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the intersection of 5th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. 

Featured literary guest, the Rev. Byron Williams, will discuss and sign copies of his best-selling book, “1963: The Year of Hope and Hostility,” which won the 2014 International Book Award for U.S. history. Williams is a leading public theologian, columnist and author. He’s also president and CEO of the Kairos Movement, a progressive theological think tank in Winston-Salem.

 Winston-Salem quintet the “5” Royales, was recently inducted into the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the group’s influence on top pop, rock and R&B performers of their day, including the Mamas and the Papas, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton and James Brown. They will be honored at the festival with a special tribute, which will include a display of group memorabilia by the family.

The “5” Royales started out singing gospel music.

In observance of the 150th anniversary of the ending of slavery, a special ceremony will be held at 12:30 p.m., which will include the reading of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendment to the U.S. Constitution; excerpts from General Orders 32; North Carolina House Bill 1607; NC Senate Resolution 1557; and the City of Winston-Salem’s proclamation by Council Member Derwin Montgomery. The ceremony will conclude with the Grand March performed by the Liberian Organization of the Piedmont.

In addition, the festival will feature African drumming and dancing by local  demonstrations, musical performances, historical displays, a children’s area, interactive quilting demonstrations, art exhibition, merchandising vendors, health screenings, cultural displays, a natural hair show, and more.

Vendors from around the community will offer various merchandise including jewelry, clothing and food.  Free health screenings, voter registration, and other community services and lots of information will be available.

To further commemorate the 150th anniversary of the ending of slavery, Emancipation and Its Legacies, a nationwide traveling exhibition will be on display at the Carver School Road Branch Library Saturday, June 9 – June 19 and on display at the Juneteenth Festival on June 20. 

The exhibition is divided into five panels: Conflicting Visions of the Future of the United States: 1850–1860; War and Fugitive Slaves: 1861–1862; 1863: Emancipation; The Process of Emancipation: 1864–1865; and The Legacy of Emancipation: Civil War to Civil Rights, 1865–1964.

The Juneteenth Festival is free and open to the public.  Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and umbrellas for the sun. 

Food Lion, Inc. is the festival co-sponsor.  Additional sponsors are Wells Fargo, 97.1 WQMG, Novant Health, City of Winston-Salem Human Relations and Recreation & Parks Departments, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, Old Salem Museums & Gardens, and Union Baptist Church.

For more information, visit, or call 336-757-8556.


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