LONG BEACH - Imagine emptying your house, putting everything in a truck and then putting it all together somewhere else. In a day.
That's what it's like for David and Sharon McLucas when they put their entire Forgotten Images traveling museum on display.
The couple will be doing that for a Juneteenth weekend exhibit at the John Parr Health Enhancement Building on the campus of St. Mary Medical Center for an event called Embracing Our Heritage.
The McLucases have spent more than 15 years - and about $200,000 - collecting more than 200 years worth of Black Americana, and for the fourth straight year they will be putting the collection on display for Juneteenth.
Throughout the weekend they will also provide tours and explanations of the collection.
Juneteenth commemorates the news received in Texas of the abolition of slavery more than two years after Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863. Slaves in Texas received the news on June 19, 1865.
The McLucas collection contains thousands of authenticated items. They range from pickaninnies, or caricatures of black children, to shackles to slave quilts to a child's Ku Klux Klan uniform to news accounts through the years.
David McLucas said he and his family have been trying for years to find a permanent space for the display and find donors for the nonprofit museum.
"It costs quite a bit to do this on our own," he said. "The costs of Black Americana have gone through the roof."
Autrilla Scott, Sharon McLucas' mother and a baby sitter for President Bill Clinton during his childhood, will also be on hand to speak and sell signed copies of her memoir, "I Remember When: A Town Named Hope Arkansas." Community activist and poet Darick Hall is scheduled to deliver a spoken word tribute at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Also on Saturday, the city will stage its 16th annual Juneteenth celebration at Martin Luther King Jr. Park.
The event will feature a barbecue with hamburgers and hot dogs, music, dancing and activities including softball, a dominoes tournament and Zumba dancing. There will also be a children's play area with water games, jumpers and arts and crafts.
Although the event in Long Beach has been scaled back in recent years due to budget cuts, it still remains popular and draws hundreds of residents from the Central Area.
In its heyday, the Long Beach event featured notable musical acts such as an orchestra playing the Bicentennial Symphony by composer Roy Harris, the Low Riders, composed of founders of the band War, and the Cambodian-American band Dengue Fever.
Want to go?
Forgotten Images Traveling Museum
When: 10 a.m. to
5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday
Where: St. Mary Medical Center, 1050 Linden Ave., Long Beach
Information: 562-896-2282, forgotten-images.com
11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1950 Lemon Ave.