By Anaridis Rodriguez

BOSTON (CBS) – On the campus of UMass Boston, college students observed Juneteenth by meeting to create an art installation.

“We’re making tombstones and on the tombstones we’re writing the names of people who have lost their lives to police brutality,” said Kamiyah Parkin, a sophomore and president of the university’s chapter of the NAACP. “The main message is to help people conceptualize how much of an issue this is. The cause of their death is because of racism. Because of a system that was designed not to protect Black people.”

Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen is hosting a ‘Songs of Freedom’ music marathon on Facebook.

“You can log into our Facebook page via dcbkboston.com. Until 10pm you’ll see seven different bands,” said owner Nia Grace on Friday. “We’re looking for something that’s going to bring us joy and upliftment. It’s important to bring our spirits up.”

And at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the community was called online to honor the contributions of Black art and literature.

“Black people are creating incredible amounts of beauty and are very talented. They are contributing not just to the world of art but also the world of politics and the world of social action,” said Makeeba McCreary, the museum’s chief of learning and community engagement.

This year the museum will host its eighth annual Juneteenth community celebration. The virtual event is free and will feature poetry readings, musical performances, a story hour for kids and a panel discussion on race.

“We’ve just lived through three weeks of incredible unrest, tragedy and frankly fear, around the safety and freedom of Black men in particular,” McCreary said. “I want to also make sure we talk about what’s hopeful, how we move forward and how we make sure we are making a change for our city.”

The programming will also spotlight famed artist and activist Roberto Lugo, the self-described ‘Ghetto Potter’, whose elaborate pieces made of fine china and porcelain often tell stories of racism and injustice.

“It’s a spotlight talk we do these in person often, where you sort of have a stationery moment with an object. But we in this virtual world have been able to bring in the artist and the object,” McCreary said.

The event runs until 8pm and will be archived on the museum’s website mfa.org.

Anaridis Rodriguez

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