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Giving new meaning to the phrase “better late than never,” Texas slaves rejoiced on June 19, 1865, after realizing they were freetwo full years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been passed. It’s hard to imagine news traveling that slowly; more than likely a few bigwigs in the big house wanted some extra bales of cotton picked. Juneteenth has since been heralded as African-American Independence Day, celebrating black culture and tradition. The Anacostia Museum’s “Juneteenth ’97” festival includes a hiphop dance performance by Apocalyptic Future, storytelling, food, and music by Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band in commemoration of this wondrous, yet peculiar, historical occurrence. From noon-6 p.m. at Anacostia Park, Nicholson St. & Fairlawn Ave. SE. FREE. (202) 287-4500. (Deborah Rouse)