Essex Community Juneteenth Celebration

On June 19, 2021, Essex will stage its 1st Juneteenth celebration. Our event will be held from 11am to 1pm at the pavilion of the Brownell Library at 5 Corners, celebrating the contributions of African Americans to life as we know it in the United States. People from the African continent who were brought here in chains and their descendants have shaped our culture in profound and wonderful ways. These contributions have added a distinct richness to music, literature, fashion, language – and so much more – that is admired and imitated throughout the world. Saturday, June 19th will be an opportunity to honor a slice of these varied and distinguished contributions. The event will highlight excerpts and work of African American inventors, musicians, poets, orators and authors. We expect to schedule some readings, but it will largely be an interactive event in which the public will be invited to take part.

For those unfamiliar with the history of the day, Juneteenth is celebrated in commemoration of June 19, 1865 when the last enslaved people in Galveston, Texas were informed of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862 and the April 9, 1865 end of the Civil War, when Robert E. Lee surrendered the last major Confederate army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse. Juneteenth has been celebrated in Texas since June 19, 1866 and, in 1979, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday. Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia now recognize Juneteenth as a state or ceremonial holiday.

Also known as: Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, Emancipation Day

More information about equity work in Essex can be found here: https://www.essexvt.org/equity