At 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 19 (Juneteenth), “Let’s Talk: The International Day of Drumming and Healing” will be held at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 S. Main St.


A “Celebration of African American History and Culture” will be on display, according to the Rev. Jesse Turner, pastor of Elm Grove Baptist Church at Pine Bluff.


For the first time in Arkansas on Juneteenth, a bell will tone from Pine Bluff to begin African American History events nationally and globally called, “Let’s Talk: The International Day of Drumming and Healing.”


The Pine Bluff event is in conjunction with the mission of the 400 Years of African American History Commission at Washington, D.C., according to a news release.


Gov. Asa Hutchinson recently sent a letter of appreciation to the Elm Grove Baptist Church for sharing the commission’s vision with Arkansans. Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. presented a proclamation and Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington will soon issue a proclamation as well, according to the release.


At the arts center event, talks will take place regarding the trauma endured by African Americans for more than four centuries, socioeconomic disparities and mass incarceration, according to the release.


The community, church groups and youth will have the opportunity to view artifacts used to transport and imprison slaves. Quilts and a power point presentation detailing quilts made in 1870 and the 1900’s will also be on display.


Information on the local activities will be forwarded to the 400 Years of African American History Commission to be placed in the United States National Archives in Washington, D.C. The historic Elm Grove Baptist Church Bell will also participate in an Aug. 28 event at Fort Monroe, Va.


Arkansas cities, churches and businesses can become involved in the local event by contacting Rev. Jesse Turner at 870-730-1131.