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Minneapolis – Kumbayah the Juneteenth Story

June 21 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm CDT

Actors take a bow at the end of the performance of Kumbayah The Juneteenth Story by Rose McGee.

Minnesota Humanities Center & Northrop Present: Kumbayah the Juneteenth Story

Minnesota Humanities Center and Northrop are proud to bring Kumbayah the Juneteenth Story to the Twin Cities in collaboration with Sweet Potato Comfort Pie, The Liberal Arts Engagement Hub, and local organizations. In 2021, Juneteenth was written into law as a national day of observance. Following, on February 3rd, 2023, Juneteenth became an official state holiday in Minnesota. Although awareness has grown, many people are still unfamiliar with why we celebrate Juneteenth and the insight it offers in addressing current social injustice.

Kumbayah the Juneteenth Story Performance
Kumbayah the Juneteenth Story, written by Rose McGee, is a 90-minute fictitious, two-act play that addresses a factual and traumatic time in our history was deliberately withheld that the Civil War was over and Black people were no longer to be kept as slaves with states in rebellion. Storytelling and music weave together mesmerizing scenes. Although tragedy is depicted, this play within a play is tremendously uplifting. The story begins with a Prologue set in the early 1800s in a small West African village where a young mother and her small son are being abducted from their home by slave catchers. Act One: Scene One is set in present time in a popular North Minneapolis soul-food restaurant where a group of youths and adults ultimately end up discussing what Juneteenth means. Before long they all agree to attend a play about Juneteenth. The story then shifts into 1863 on the Turner Plantation in Tyler, Texas with the character Frederick Douglass as Narrator. Immediately following the play, Dr. Amelious Whyte, University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts Interim Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will moderate a 20-minute Q&A with cast, bringing the play back to present time.

Interpretation is best suited for ages 8 and up.

Join us for pre-show activities starting at 10:30 a.m.

American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation services will be available at this event.

Funding for this project is provided in part by Thrivent, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the African American Leadership Forum, the League of Women Voters of Minnesota, Minnesota Association for Black Lawyers, Mortenson, Mutual of America, and The University of Minnesota Imagine Fund.

Thank you to our partners: Northrop, Sweet Potato Comfort Pie, The Liberal Arts Engagement Hub, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund


Registration for the performance through the Northrop Box Office.

Registration Questions: umntix@umn.edu

Register Now

Funders and Supporters

Logo for Thrivent Financial.
Logo for Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota.
Logo for Medtronic
Logo for African American Leadership Forum.
Minnsota Association of Black Lawyers logo
Logo for Mortenson Construction.
Logo for The Imagine Fund
Logo for Minnesota's Clearn Water, Land, & Legacy Amedment.
Logo for National Endowment for the Humanities.


June 21
11:00 am - 1:00 pm CDT
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Rose McGee


84 Church St SE
Minneapolis, 55455 United States
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