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Juneteenth Celebration in Portsmouth

Middle Street Baptist Church
18 Court Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
United States(603) 436-2337

Community Dialogue, Soul Food, Dramatic Readings, African Drumming & Dance, Gospel Music Concert

This year’s Juneteenth Celebration will honor the Africans of the “Negro Courts” who served as governors, leaders, spokesmen, negotiators, arbiters and magistrate as well as the people who found ways to establish a culture steeped in African tradition in spite of the shackles of enslavement.

Juneteenth is the oldest known nationally celebrated event commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Although President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation declared that as of January 1, 1863, all slaves in states in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever be free,” it was not until June 19th, 1865, two years later, that the enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, got the news that the war had ended and they were free.

11:00 am Community Dialogue
In a Matter of Justice: 18th Century “Negro Courts” and Judicial Ideals of Today
Speakers: Ray Rickman, Lauren Greenwald, Diane Lucas and Jordan Thompson

12:30 pm Soul Food Lunch
1:30 pm Music & March to the African Burying Ground Memorial
A Joyous Celebration

2:00 Commemorative Event
In Honor of the Ancestors
African Drumming, A Dramatic Reading of the 1779 Petition, and Gospel Song to Close

7:00 pm Gospel Music Concert