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Juneteenth Global Village exhibit showcases Black Americans’ history

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indy’s Global Village is showcasing a new Juneteenth exhibit on the city’s northwest side.

It builds on its work year-around to share global cultures, organizers say.

The timeline exhibit at the Global Village Welcome Center starts out in the late 1800s, and it takes visitors through modern day showing the history of why and how Black Americans got to where they are today.

The curator says some moments of history were hard, but the exhibit also celebrates the successes. History often includes a painful past, and it takes work to make sure it’s not forgotten. Mary Clark, founder and executive director of Indy’s Global Village, said, “In the times that we’re living now, it is so important that we know and recognize what the past has brought us and taught us.”

The exhibit is a destination of sorts by allowing visitors to experience a range of cultures in one spot.

Curator Daniel Del Real said, “The exhibit is a timeline that takes right at the end of slavery and goes through the Black Lives Matter movement, and now what we’re going through now.”

For the next two months, its Juneteenth exhibit will showcase Black American history. Del Real says a committee of Black local leaders helped decide what to add.

“We decided early on that it was important to feature these really difficult images. For instance, there’s a KKK (Ku Klux Klan) robe exhibit, and I think it’s important to confront it. But also, there are several parts in the exhibit that are very positive and uplifting.”

Key historical figures and artifacts along with lesser known heroes are displayed alongside pieces from Clark’s own family, including a family dictionary. “In the middle of the section has all of the N-words in it. So, if you want to know what we were called back then, come and look at the dictionary.”

This exhibit will continuously evolve with new elements added to showcase music and people who’ve died without justice.

Clark said, “When you learn about people and learn where they come from, then you learn about their heritage, and you might be able to find some similarities.”

The free Juneteenth Celebration will be June 24 at Global Village Welcome Center, 4233 Lafayette Road, just off Georgetown Road. The event will include a fashion show with Black-owned vendors.