Celebrate Freedom on Juneteenth

Community-Based Events & Resources Invite Families to Learn, Celebrate & Reflect on Freedom

These days, when a monumental government decision is made, technology allows the news to travel quickly and we are able to find out almost immediately. However, before the internet and telephones and even motorized vehicles were invented, information took a lot longer to travel. News could take days, weeks, even months to spread, and the further information had to travel, the longer it took for it to get there. In the case of the Emancipation Proclamation, for example, word of Lincoln’s granting of freedom to slaves in Confederate states took nearly six months to reach some parts of the country! While the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1st, 1863, word of emancipation took until June 19th to travel from Washington, DC to Galveston, Texas!

The day upon which Texas slaves learned of the Emancipation Proclamation is celebrated today as Juneteenth. Originally celebrated only in Texas, the day has served as a commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States since 1865. Across the country – and even around the world – Juneteenth is celebrated in order to honor the struggles of those who endured slavery, and to remind us of the ways in which our country’s history has affected (and continues to affect) our current society. Find out about celebrations in Western MA!

Celebrate Freedom on Juneteenth

Celebration events invite families to celebrate the abolition of slavery, and to reflect on the daily aspects of freedom in their own lives

Andre Keitt will perform stories and folklore from the African oral tradition during Black History Weekend at Old Sturbridge Village on June 21 & 22, 2014.

These days, when a monumental government decision is made, technology allows the news to travel quickly and we are able to find out almost immediately. However, before the internet and telephones and even motorized vehicles were invented, information took a lot longer to travel. News could take days, weeks, even months to spread, and the further information had to travel, the longer it took for it to get there. In the case of the Emancipation Proclamation, for example, word of Lincoln’s granting of freedom to slaves in Confederate states took nearly six months to reach some parts of the country! While the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1st, 1863, word of emancipation took until June 19th to travel from Washington, DC to Galveston, Texas!

The day upon which Texas slaves learned of the Emancipation Proclamation is celebrated today as Juneteenth. Originally celebrated only in Texas, the day has served as a commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States since 1865. Across the country – and even around the world – Juneteenth is celebrated in order to honor the struggles of those who endured slavery, and to remind us of the ways in which our country’s history has affected (and continues to affect) our current society. Find out about celebrations in Western MA!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at Old Sturbridge Village

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebrated
at Old Sturbridge Village

Historian and storyteller Tammy Denease portrays Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, telling her story for her fight for freedom at the Old Sturdbridge Village on MLK Jr. Day, Jan 16th, 2012.

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, Old Sturbridge Village is offering a program on Monday, Jan 16th for families that highlights the story of Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, a former slave (from Sheffield, MA) who successfully gained her freedom in court- a case that eventually lead to the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts.  Freeman is played by historian and storyteller Tammy Denease, who will tell the story of Freeman’s fight for freedom as well as explain her role in the fight to abolish slavery for good.  Freeman’s story is important not only because it is unique (most slaves couldn’t even try to fight for freedom, let alone succeed at doing so), but because she was a woman and women’s rights were practically unheard of during the 1700’s.

Children can learn a lot from the presentation- it fits into studies of civil and human rights, culture, and American history, and hearing Freeman’s story within a re-creation of its historical context can help kids to contextualize the story.

Other activities taking place throughout the day include ice skating (BYO skates), hands-on art activities, and history-based free play at the village’s KidStory area.  For more information, call the museum at 800-733-1830 or visit www.osv.org.

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