7 p.m., Thu., UALR University Theatre. Free.
10 a.m., Sat., Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. Free.
Noon, Sat., Ninth Street, west of Broadway. Free.
The Central High National Historic Site and Power 92 join together to present the first of several Juneteenth events on Thursday. The celebration, as African-American history students should know, harkens back to 1865, when Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas, with word that the war was over and those enslaved could go free. Fittingly, the event on Thursday promises to trace the African-American struggle to gain freedom and respect. The centerpiece of the program, a dance piece called “Invisible Chains” by choreographer Aeren J. Bates, traces the “lineage of the African Diaspora.” Other featured performers include poets A.P.O.L.L.O. and Krysis, actor Sean Freeman, and musicians Q Note & Griff and Authur C. Smith Jr.
On Saturday, the Arkansas chapter of the NAACP offers its own Juneteenth celebration, from noon until 10 p.m., with music —gospel, jazz, hip-hop, blues and R&B are all promised — a fashion show, food booths, speakers and kids’ activities. Ninth Street, west of Broadway, will be blocked off for the event.
Meanwhile, also on Saturday, in the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, there’ll be music and film workshops, from 10 a.m. to noon, and a screening of the great Stax-in-LA-concert-documentary “Wattstax” and other films from noon to 5 p.m. Following the screening of “Wattstax,” Arkansas native and former Stax Records head Al Bell (above), who organized the legendary concert, will discuss “the power of music as a unifier of all people.”