KLRU NewsBriefs: Celebrating Juneteenth with Bell County History

761st Fix

This week during PBS NewsHour Weekend, we’ll air excerpts from Juneteenth Jamboree, a 30 minute special about Bell County’s African-American history.

On Saturday, we introduce you to some famous names who have called Bell County home, including “Mean Joe” Greene and Alvin Ailey. Stephanie Turnham of the Bell County Museum told us Ailey’s first creation of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958, “Blues Suite,” was inspired by his early childhood in Rogers, Texas.

“It starts out with the train whistle, way in the background and, of course, that tells us that work is over for the day. So, all of these characters come out to this juke joint, or whatever you want to call it, and light up the night,” Turnham said. “Alvin remembers beautiful women dressed up and men with their .38 Specials and that sort of thing.”

On Sunday, we hear why Killeen is known as one of the most diverse cities in Texas – thanks in large part to Fort Hood. When it was called Camp Hood during World War II, the all African-American 761st Tank Battalion was stationed on post. Also known as the Black Panther Battalion, the group included baseball legend Jackie Robinson.

Racial segregation policies of the times initially kept them out of the conflict overseas, but the 761st, nonetheless, achieved a superior combat rating and were deployed to the European theater, where they performed with precision and bravery. Today, a monument on post is dedicated to them.

Wilbert Byrd, President of the Central Texas Memorial Chapter of the 761st Tank Battalion & Allied Veterans Association tells us that before the memorial was built, the group was largely forgotten.

“They said the 761st? Who? Everybody knows about the Tuskegee Airmen, everybody knows about what they did, but nobody had ever heard of the 761st Tank Battalion even with all the things that they had done,” Byrd said. “We think we came up with something that was not only appropriate, not only was it elegant, but it was simple and it did what we wanted to do, it informed the public about the 761st Tank Battalion and their exploits during WWII.”

You can see both of these stories during PBS NewsHour weekend this Saturday and Sunday at 6:30pm. You can see Juneteenth Jamboree tonight, June 19 at 7:30pm and Tuesday, June 24 at 10:30pm.

Juneteenth Jamboree – 6/19

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The historical holiday Juneteenth is coming up, and KLRU will honor the abolition of slavery’s anniversary with this year’s special premier of Juneteenth Jamboree: Texas’ African American.

Since U.S. General Gordon Granger’s June 19, 1865 arrival in Galveston to deliver General Order No. 3 freeing the slaves, Texans of all colors and generations have commemorated the day. The spirit of Juneteenth has even crossed state lines: another 40 states list Juneteenth as an official holiday or observance. Juneteenth Jamboree observes the people of Texas celebrating this close second to Fourth of July.

This year’s program premiers on the holiday (6/19) at 7:30 p.m. and again on Tuesday, June 24 at 10:30 p.m. only on KLRU.

Civil Rights on KLRU 6/17, 6/24

In honor of the new show Freedom Summer: American Experience, KLRU is featuring special programs on the Civil Rights Movement. Look forward to two nights in June for these moving stories.

Tuesday, June 17
Austin Revealed: Civil Rights Stories - 7:30 p.m.
Start local: see interviews with prominent Austin citizens about their experience during Austin’s civil rights period, the effect of segregation and what gentrification has meant to the city.

Freedom Riders: American Experience - 8:00 p.m.
Depriving African-Americans of transportation was a key way of oppression until a group challenged the segregation in 1961. Interviews from the freedom riders themselves are featured in this awe-inspiring documentary.

Independent Lens: The New Black – 10:00 p.m.
Centering on the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland, this film takes viewers into the pews, onto the streets, and provides a seat at the kitchen table as it looks at how the African American community grapples with the divisive gay rights issue.

Tuesday, June 24
March – 7:00 p.m.
The revolutionary March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mind-blowing “I Have a Dream” speech took a lot of work to accomplish, and caused the turning point of the Civil Rights Movement. This documentary excavates the foundation of the monumental protest in honor of its 50th anniversary last year.

Freedom Summer: American Experience – 8:00 p.m.
Over 10 weeks in 1964 known as the Freedom Summer, more than 700 student volunteers in Mississippi joined with organizers and local African Americans in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in the nation’s most segregated state, with the goal of challenging the Democratic Party at the national convention in Atlantic City. The campaign was marked by sustained and deadly violence, including the notorious murders of three civil rights workers, countless beatings, the burning of 35 churches, and the bombing of 70 homes and Freedom Houses.

Austin Revealed: Civil Rights Stories – 10:00 p.m.

Juneteenth Jamboree: Texas’ African American – 10:30 p.m.
Focusing on the African-American experience in Bell County, Juneteenth Jamboree 2014 features stories about plantation life in mid-1850s Salado, the “Black Panthers” tank battalion in Killeen, important historical figures and much more.

Special programs for Juneteenth 2013

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KLRU presents the new documentary Tomlinson Hill on June 18 at 9 pm and June 24 at 10 pm. Tomlinson Hill documents how the legacy of slavery in East and Central Texas has created a region still divided despite the civil rights changes of the last 60 year.  Learn more about this powerful documentary.

Also new this year is Juneteenth Jamboree: Texas’ African American Heritage on June 13 at 8 pm and June 16 at 1 pm on KLRU. Celebrate the history and rich culture of African Americans in San Marcos, Texas. Juneteenth Jamboree takes you on a tour of Calaboose African American Museum and the historic Dunbar neighborhood. Plus, learn about native son and musician Eddie Durham who provided innovation to the world of jazz. The Gospel Expressions from Texas State University performs “The Black National Anthem.”

KLRU Q will feature a special day of programming on June 15th. First up is the 2013 Juneteenth Parade starting at 10:30 am. KLRU has again partnered with Channel Austin to present the annual Juneteenth parade live.

KLRU Q will also feature the 2010-2013 episodes of Juneteenth Jamboree on June 15 from 12:30 pm to 3 pm. These programs, produced by KLRU, celebrate African-American culture in Central Texas. First is Juneteenth Jamboree: Texas’ African American Heritage at 12:30 pm. That’s followed by:
Juneteenth Jamboree 2012 - Visit the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center and its director/curator Bernadette Phifer. Meet Janel Jefferson, an artist who gets some of her old-school ideas from eBay.
Juneteenth Jamboree 2011 – Dr. Jessica Grogan and Funmi Ogunro.
Juneteenth Jamboree 2010 - explore the notion of freedom.

Tomlinson Hill takes a personal look at race in Central Texas

Tomlinson Hill

KLRU presents a new documentary on a seldom-told part of Texas history. Airing on June 19th at 9 pm and June 24 at 10 pm, Tomlinson Hill documents how the legacy of slavery in East and Central Texas has created a region still divided despite the civil rights changes of the last 60 years. Tomlinson Hill is one of several programs KLRU is presenting in honor of Juneteenth.

In the mid-1800s just outside of Marlin, Texas, a slave plantation named Tomlinson Hill was founded by James K. Tomlinson. The establishment would have long lasting effects on the rural community. In this powerful documentary, reporter Chris Tomlinson, a descendant of slave owner James K. Tomlinson, confronts the shame and guilt he feels from his ancestry and digs deeper into the real legacy of the area. Featuring NFL player LaDainian Tomlinson and others whose families have a long history in the area, Tomlinson Hill takes a fascinating look at people trying to move on while others idly resist change.

The seeds for the documentary began when Chris Tomlinson met Loreane Tomlinson, a descendant of slaves on Tomlinson Hill, who returned to her hometown with a vision of civic improvement. “After meeting Loreane, I knew I wanted the film to tell the story of my family history as well as her family history,” said Chris Tomlinson.  ”Together, it’s the story of America, as far as I’m concerned.”

The film was produced by Lisa Kaselak of Fosforo Films. Funding is provided in part through a grant from Humanities Texas: the state affiliate of the NEH, Southern Methodist University Research Council, Meadows Foundation and Dallas Women in Film. The film is part of the Voices of Marlin Living Stories of a Texas Town project find out more at voicesofmarlin.com.

 

Juneteenth Parade on KLRU-Q 6/19

KLRU has partnered with channelAustin to give teens experience in producing live television. Tune in to KLRU-Q on Tuesday, June 19th at 10:30 am for the Juneteenth Historical Parade produced by teens participating in the Juneteenth Camp.

Juneteenth Camp, now in its fourth year, puts the production power in the hands of youth who experience three days of hands-on training with fully digital, HD equipment that allows them to run the live broadcast of the Juneteenth Historical Parade. The teens work as Directors’ Assistants, Technical Directors and handheld camera operators to bring viewers the entire live production. A few of the kids will Co-Host with Hosts Gregory Harrington, Natomi Austin and Pastor Emanuel Limuel, Jr.

Juneteenth on KLRU and KLRU-Q

Juneteenth Jamboree 2011 presents Dr. Jessica Grogan and Funmi Ogunro. Remember the Civil War? While not as immediate as the Battle of the Alamo, it has relevance 150 years hence. Prof. Grogan puts the war in perspective. Funmi and Friends presents the “Foods of Juneteenth. Children’s host Funmi Ogunro leads viewers through restaurants and recipes that will satisfy your family on Independence Day. This special will air on KLRU, 18.1, on Sunday, June 19, at 6 pm and Monday, June 20, at 10 pm

Saturday, June 18th, on KLRU-Q, 18.3, features an afternoon of Juneteenth specials. The day kicks off with a live broadcast of Austin’s annual Juneteenth parade followed by the last several years of Juneteenth Jamboree specials.
10:30am Juneteenth Parade

12:30pm Juneteenth Jamboree 2011
Juneteenth Jamboree 2011 presents Dr. Jessica Grogan and Funmi Ogunro.

1 pm Juneteenth Jamboree 2010
Juneteenth Jamboree is an annual glimpse at the notion of freedom and how African American emancipation manifests both in the past and today.

2 pm Juneteenth Jamboree 2009
Juneteenth is a official day of celebration in 30 states, so Juneteenth Jamboree takes a moment to consider a song that is heard every year at this occasion, “The Negro National Anthem.” Also several young essay winners tell why Juneteenth is relevant today.

2:30pm Juneteenth Jamboree 2008
The first African slave arrived in Texas in 1528, but it took until June 19, 1865 to end slavery in Texas and the United States. The anniversary of that day is celebrated as a holiday– Juneteenth. And in celebration, this program explains the history of blacks in Texas, and commemorates the namesake of the annual Alvin Patterson Battle of the Bands.