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Juneteenth Celebration!

June 29, 2011

Did you know that Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States? This rich historic tradition fits in seamlessly with many of our Historic Germantown Sites, so it is only natural that we would have a multi-site celebration of “Freedom Day” in Freedom’s Backyard! On June 18th, 2011- Juneteenth’s 146th anniversary- we celebrated with a festival from 11 AM – 3 PM along the 6300 block of Germantown Avenue.

From the Johnson House, highlights included Millicent Sparks as Harriet Tubman, an exhibition of slave memorabilia from the Lest We Forget Museum. Also accapella choral performances and a play from the Enon Baptist Church, and teen poetry recitation by the Black Writers Museum.

At Cliveden of the National Trust, there was a special behind-the-scenes tour of their newly opened Servant’s Quarters, with performances by local storyteller Denise Valentine to offer a third person rendition of the lives of the Chew Family Servants.

And tours the Concord School and Upper Burying Ground and Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust! At GMHT visitors were able to see the table where the first written protest against slavery was signed in 1688. Philadelphia has been fighting for freedom for a very long time, and this event was a testament to Freedom’s Backyard’s legacy.

To read more articles about our Juneteenth Celebration, visit Newsworks and The Philadelphia Inquirer!

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