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Russell Westbrook, Alfre Woodard, Damon Lindelof among participants in Juneteenth virtual event Saturday
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Russell Westbrook, Alfre Woodard, Damon Lindelof among participants in Juneteenth virtual event Saturday

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Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook, who backed a comedy show at Cain's Ballroom in July of 2019, will lend his presence to a Tulsa Juneteenth Block Party "livecast" on Saturday, June 20. JOEY JOHNSON/for the Tulsa World

Tulsa on Saturday is hosting a national Juneteenth Block Party, a virtual event with celebrity and activist appearances to accompany on-the-ground celebrations happening over the weekend.

The virtual “livecast,” featuring contributions from Russell Westbrook, Alfre Woodard, Sen. Kamala Harris, HBO “Watchmen” creator Damon Lindelof and others, will begin streaming at 6 p.m. Saturday on www.tulsablockparty.com. The celebrities will participate remotely instead of traveling to Tulsa.

A news release said the event was created to recognize Juneteenth, a holiday that marks the abolition of slavery in the United States, and to celebrate the culture of Black communities in Tulsa and around the country. The Block Party lineup will include conversations, stories, messages of hope and musical performances from a number of prominent Tulsans and special celebrity guests.

The release said confirmed participants include Woodard, Harris, Westbrook, Lindelof, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Dr. Tiffany Crutcher of the Terence Crutcher Foundation, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, Biden 2020 senior adviser Karine Jean-Pierre, Biden 2020 senior adviser Symone Sanders, Baratunde Thurston, Jay Ellis, Jidenna, Sophia Bush, ABC’s “The Bachelorette” star Mike Johnson, Amber Valletta, Tristan Mack Wilds, Dr. Jessica Clemons and others.

The event will include addresses from Harris, Holder, Patrick and Jean-Pierre.

Westbrook and Stanley Nelson will talk about their upcoming docu-series (“Terror in Tulsa”) about the Tulsa Race Massacre. The event will also include an interview with Lindelof, whose “Watchmen” series gave millions of TV viewers their first introduction to the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.

The livecast also will include musical performances, DJ sets, and Juneteenth coverage from Tulsa’s Greenwood District, also known as Black Wall Street.

“Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom and the unyielding strength of Black Americans even in the face of the evils of slavery,” Damion Shade, co-emcee of the Tulsa Juneteenth Block Party and a criminal policy analyst, said in the news release.

“With this event we hope to honor this history as well as the remarkable legacy of Black Wall Street, which persists in the businesses, artists and the spirit of black excellence in Greenwood and throughout Tulsa today.”

Abby Kurin, executive director of the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture, said multiple organizations came together to support this addition to Tulsa’s Juneteenth celebration.

“It’s important that we acknowledge Tulsa’s history, which includes racial violence against the African American community, while we also gather together to celebrate freedom,” Kurin said.

The release also included a quote from Jasmine Teer, vice president of strategy at Small Girls PR, the creators of the Tulsa Juneteenth Block Party: “Centering the 2020 celebration of this holiday, which is the ultimate symbol of freedom for African Americans in this country, in Tulsa is an honor.”

The release said the organization of the Tulsa Juneteenth Block Party is led by the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture, Small Girls PR, The George Kaiser Family Foundation, Gitwit, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, the Black Wall Street Times and the Terence Crutcher Foundation.

Organizers are encouraging support of the block party by sharing the tag #tulsablockparty on social media.

A Juneteenth celebration was launched Friday in Tulsa’s Greenwood District.


Gallery: Scenes from Tulsa's Juneteenth celebration Friday

Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389

jimmie.tramel@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @JimmieTramel

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Scene Writer

I cover pop culture and work as a feature writer at the Tulsa World. A former Oklahoma sports writer of the year, I have written books about former OU coach Barry Switzer and former OSU coach Pat Jones. Phone: 918-581-8389

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