‘Juneteenth’ Celebrates Freedom in Murfreesboro June 15th - June 17th

Jun 10, 2023 at 03:06 pm by WGNS News

MURFREESBORO, TN - In 1806, Bradley Academy was built in Murfreesboro for the wealthy, only allowing white males to attend the school. Past President of the United States James K. Polk, even attended the small school that sits near the local Rutherford County square. Polk was the 11th President of America and served between 1845 and 1849, which was 40-years after construction started to build Bradley Academy.

In the 1830s, a second Bradley Academy was built, which was later used as a hospital during the Civil War. The school was badly damaged during the era of the Battle of Stones River, but eventually reopened with a new class… to serve the African American community in the 1880s.


In 1917, a new school was built and construction was completed in 1918. Vonchelle Stembridge, Facility Coordinator of Bradley, told WGNS News… In the 1900s, African American students had to walk to school as they were not allowed to ride the buses that transported white students to other nearby schools. Stembridge told us the student to teacher ratio was also unreasonable…

The annual JuneTeenth Celebration will be held at the historic school this year, which will be June 15th through June 17th. Each day will feature different events, with the Freedom Day celebration taking place between 10AM and 7PM on Saturday, June 17th… Again, Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of enslaved persons in the United States, will be observed with three events this year: Authors Night on June 15 and the Juneteenth Celebration on June 17 will take place at Bradley Academy Museum and Cultural Center, 415 S. Academy Street. Kaleidoscope on June 16, will be held at Patterson Park Community Center, 521 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. All are free to attend.

Get Involved - If local businesses or organizations would like to get involved with the upcoming event, call Stembridge at the Bradley Academy Museum at 615-962-8773. The museum is open Monday through Tuesday through Saturday between 10 AM and 4 PM.  

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