Juneteenth, an African American holiday marking the end of slavery, has been honored and celebrated in our community since 2018 on the second Sunday in June at the Durand-Hedden House in Maplewood. This event, developed in partnership with the South Orange-Maplewood Community Coalition on Race, includes performances, historical reenactors from the Civil War era, Black poets, and many activities for adults and children. The historical exhibit inside the house provides information on slavery in New Jersey, highlighting the state's complex legislative history regarding slavery and its long road to providing for emancipation. The book by Gail Safian called Slavery in New Jersey: A Troubled History is an illustrated 40-page book that traces the evolution of slavery in New Jersey, which began with Dutch settlement in the seventeenth century and continued through the end of the Civil War. This book along with the museum exhibit provide important historical information and context for Juneteenth.
Put Juneteenth on your calendar--it's not to be missed!