CHICAGO (CBS) — The DuSable Museum of African American History, closed for more than a year due to the pandemic, will reopen on June 19 to celebrate Juneteenth, the holiday observing the freedom of African Americans from slavery in the U.S.

On Saturday, June 19, the DuSable Museum will host a “Welcome Back” ceremony at 11 a.m., to celebrate the reopening and honor Juneteenth. Admission on Juneteenth and the rest of June 2021 will be free.

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The Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, freeing slaves in the secessionist Confederate States, but the news didn’t reach the enslaved people in the last state of Texas until two years later on June 19th 1865, when Union troops arrived in Galveston to inform the slaves that they were free.

“We’re thrilled that we can finally reopen our doors and welcome our community back to the DuSable Museum of African American History.” said Perri L. Irmer, President and CEO.  “I am proud of our hard-working team that has made sure the Museum is safe and enjoyable for all, and we have a number of impactful exhibitions and programs for visitors to experience including ‘The March,’ our amazing new Virtual Reality experience that debuted in February 2020 but was shut down due to COVID-19. We will also be offering free admission to all through the month of June 2021, to show our deepest gratitude to the Chicago community.”

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The DuSable Museum will be operating at limited capacity when it reopens, following state and city COVID-19 protocols. The museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays when it reopens.

The museum’s main auditorium will remain closed until further notice remains closed until further notice, but the Roundhouse Plaza across the street will host a full schedule of summer events every week from June through October, including: DuJazz every Wednesday evening; DuSalsa alternating with  DuAfrique every Thursday; DuHouse Music on Friday nights; DuComedy on Saturday, and each week ends with a Sunday DuSteppin’ Day Party. Tickets to all events can be purchased on our website

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The museum also will continue to offer online programming thorough its “Code Black” webcast series, as well as virtual movie screenings and other online events.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff