Join us for Juneteenth 2020 as we virtually honor our ancestors and celebrate African American history, food, music, faith, family, and freedom!
What is Juneteenth?
"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer." - General Order No. 3, read by Major General Gordon Granger to the people of Texas
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally-celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Marking the date that the last enslaved people learned of their freedom, the month of June and the nineteenth day were combined to form the term "Juneteenth." From its Galveston, Texas, origin in 1865, observance of Juneteenth as African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States, and is an official holiday recognized in 46 States and the District of Columbia.
A Virtual Celebration
Montpelier, OCAAHS, and OCA have created a website featuring the performers, vendors, reenactors, and historical information that make up the core of the Juneteenth Celebration. Learn about African American history at Montpelier and throughout Orange County; celebrate Juneteenth by watching and interacting with performers, musicians, historical interpreters, and artists; support local artists and businesses by buying from Juneteenth vendors; reunite with family, teammates, scouts, and friends; and connect with local community groups. The website can be found at https://ocaahsjuneteenth.org/.
More Virtual Offerings
Also as part of Juneteenth, Montpelier will host three virtual events: a book talk on June 18 with birder, naturalist, and hunter-conservationist Dr. Drew Lanham, who will discuss his book The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature and his collection of poems from Sparrow Envy and elsewhere; a walking tour on June 20 of sites of Emancipation at Montpelier with Dr. Matthew Reeves, Montpelier’s Director of Archaeology and Landscape Restoration; and a book talk on June 25 with descendant, author, and historian Dr. Bettye Kearse, who will discuss her book The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family. To register for any of these events, visit either the Juneteenth website at https://ocaahsjuneteenth.org/celebrate/ or Montpelier’s website at https://www.montpelier.org/events.
Scenes from the 2016 Juneteenth Celebration at Montpelier