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Teri Frady
508 495-2239

NR07.06
May 24, 2007

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NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center

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Woods Hole Science Institutions
Announce Falmouth Juneteenth Events

The Woods Hole Black History Month Committee has organized a poetry reading and social event for this year’s June 19 celebration of Juneteenth, the day recognized internationally for commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

The poetry reading will be given by Dr. Jarita Davis, who will read from her collection, There Should Be More Water, a cycle of poems that focuses upon Cape Verdean and Cape Verdean-American culture. Davis is also a fiction writer and is currently working as a science editor at NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.

Jarita Davis
Dr. Jarita Davis

The reading is free and open to the public and will be held beginning at 12:30 PM in the Woods Hole Community Hall on Water Street.

The Juneteenth social event will feature music, a cookout, and a brief poetry reading by Davis to warm up the crowd for a poetry open mic. The event will be held from 4:30 to 9 PM at the Cape Verdean Club of Falmouth, Inc. at 126 Sandwich Road. As always, everyone is invited, and families are encouraged. There is no entry fee for the celebration at the Cape Verdean Club, but donations of food, time, or other resources are accepted. For more information, contact: Ambrose Jearld, NEFSC at 508-495-2318 or Joe Santos of the Cape Verdean Club at 774-521-8167.

“I am encouraged by the greater visibility of Juneteenth both in Falmouth and throughout Massachusetts,” said Dr. Ambrose Jearld, long-time committee member and one of the organizers. “I look forward to a lively crowd that’s ready to celebrate this important watershed in American life.”

Often cited as African-American Independence Day, Juneteenth has been deemed a special day of recognition by many municipalities and states. The observances commemorate June 19, 1865, the day the Emancipation Proclamation was finally enforced in Texas, the last of the seceding states to be occupied by the federal army. At the time, an estimated 250,000 persons were still enslaved in Texas, despite the signing of the proclamation more than two years earlier.

Dr. Davis holds a B.A. in classics from Brown University, as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. She was recently the writer in residence at the Nantucket Historical Association and has received fellowships from the Mellon Mayes program, Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. In addition, she was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Travel Research Grant as well as Neiheisel Phi Beta Kappa Award. Her work has appeared in the Southwestern Review, Historic Nantucket, Cave Canem Anthologies, and the
Crab Orchard Review.

The Black History Month Committee comprises members from six scientific institutions in Woods Hole (Marine Biological Laboratory, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole Research Center, and USGS Science Center for Coastal and Marine Geology). The committee organizes special events during February for Black History Month, and throughout the year to promote diversity in the institutions and the local community. Visit the committee on the web at: woodshole.er.usgs.gov/outreach/WHBHMC/june.htm.

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(File Modified May. 25 2007)