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KSU to partner with Juneteenth for outdoor film

By The Mercury

For the second year in a row, Kansas State University’s HandsOn Kansas State and Movies on the Grass are joining with Manhattan’s Juneteenth Community Festival to co-sponsor an outdoor movie at the community event.

“The Great Debaters” will be shown at 9:15 p.m. Friday, June 15, in City Park’s Larry Norvell Band Shell as a part of the 23rd annual Juneteenth Community Festival. Directed by Denzel Washington, “The Great Debaters” was inspired by the true story of a debate coach from a small East Texas college who encouraged and challenged his students to pursue their ambitions. The movie is free.

Moviegoers are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets and watch the film under the stars.

HandsOn Kansas State promotes service projects and community development.

It’s project coordinator, Lynda Bachelor, became familiar with the local Juneteenth celebration a few years ago.

Bachelor’s involvement with HandsOn Kansas State and her passion for getting to know the community around her inspired her to find a way to contribute to the Juneteenth tradition.

“When I attended my first Juneteenth event, I realized that it was similar to a community homecoming,” she said. “There were all kinds of activities and people seemed to come from all over to join in on the fun.”

The Juneteenth Community Festival is a family-friendly community event that celebrates freedom and emphasizes the achievements and educational contributions of African-Americans.

It is a weekend celebration that includes a gospel festival, parade, scholarship award ceremony, basketball tournament and historical displays in addition to the outdoor movie.

“We love helping out with the movie as a small contribution to a wonderful celebration,” Bachelor said. “Juneteenth not only promotes education, but is an enjoyable weekend of activities for everyone in the Manhattan community.”

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