• This event has passed.

« Back to Events

Juneteenth Celebration

South Church
292 State St.
Portsmouth, NH 03801
United States
Phone:(603) 436.4762

Come hear Langdon Marsh, a descendant of slave owner John Langdon dialogue with Portsmouth native Sheila Reed Findley, a descendant of slaves from Portsmouth and Berwick, Maine. Others  will describe their own experiences upon finding inter-racial leaves on the family tree. 

‘Coming to the Table: A Journey of Discovery Between Descendants of Slaves and Slave Owners,’ and related events are all happening today as part of Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail’s Juneteenth Celebration. Through honest and open sharing of personal stories and family histories, presenters will explore the legacy of racism that is rooted in the history of slavery and ways in which we can heal the racial divide through dialogue.

Schedule of Events

11 am – Remembrance gathering at Langdon Slaves Cemetery, 1035 Lafayette Road.

12 noon — Pot luck lunch at South Church.

12:30 pm —  Documentary shown at South Church “Telling the Story of Slavery”, with film Producer Kalim Armstrong.

1 pm —   Dialogue with descendants of Colonial Portsmouth families, South Church

3 pm — Music jamboree and Remembrance Celebration, African Burying Ground Memorial Park.


The public is welcome to all these free events.

The observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day is the oldest known nationally celebrated event commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.Although President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, in the fall of 1862, 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.


Schedule of Events

11 am – Remembrance Gathering at Langdon Slaves Cemetery, 1035 Lafayette Road

12 am — Pot Luck Lunch at South Church, 292 State Street

12:30 pm —  Documentary, “Telling the Story of Slavery”, with film producer Kalim Armstrong, South Church

1:00 pm —   Dialogue with Descendants of Colonial Portsmouth Families,  South Church

3:00 pm — Music Jamboree and Remembrance Celebration, African Burying Ground Memorial Park

Armstrong’s film, Telling the Story of Slavery, is about a place that attempts to tackle the legacy of slavery: The Whitney Plantation in Louisiana. His film is featured in the New Yorker at http://www.newyorker.com/contributors/kalim-armstrong/all.

All Junteenth events are free and open to the public.

The Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail founded in 1995, works to preserve, celebrate and honor the history and culture of the African-American community in Portsmouth and the New Hampshire region. With distinctive bronze plaques that identify the community from its colonial-era African Burying Ground to the modern Civil Rights Movement, the Trail is proud to have served as a model across the country, on what it means to raise public awareness and appreciation for a region not known for its Black history.

The Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail merged with the Portsmouth Historical Society in the summer of 2012 and now partners with the Society to present our programs to the public.

Visit www.portsmouthhistory for more information or call Discover Portsmouth at (603) 436-8433