Juneteenth is the celebration of the “end” of slavery in the US, on June 19, 1865. It wasn’t until over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed that the last enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas became aware slaves were free and the Civil War was over.
Prior to 1865, Baltimore’s Waterfront played a role in our country’s grim slave trade history, where slave ships anchored off Fell’s Point, and slave auctions took place along the Waterfront from Fell’s Point to the Inner Harbor and Pratt Street.
We still have a long way to go, but one small step we can take is making certain that we take time to observe this important moment in our history and celebrate the freedom of all Americans.
Juneteenth is a day to read, reflect and take action. It is important to acknowledge the history, learn the context of how the American slave trade impacted U.S. history, especially in Baltimore, to read about Black history and about the great accomplishments of Black Americans in this country.
- The secret history of city slave trade; Blacks and whites alike of modern-day Baltimore have ignored the story of the jails that played a key role in the U.S. slave trade of the 1800s. (By Scott Shane, The Baltimore Sun, June 20, 1999)
- A bitter Inner Harbor legacy: the slave trade (By Ralph Clayton, The Baltimore Sun, July 12, 2000)
- Juneteenth: A Celebration of Independence (By Sheilah Kast & Melissa Gerr, WYPR, June 13, 2019)
- Webinar: A conversation on the intersection of race, history, and the outdoors hosted by the National Park Service. The webinar is on Friday, June 19, 2020 at 12pm. Register for the webinar here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7Sp_MvodTC2ThqnRoXov9A
- Six leading Black museums and historical institutions from coast to coast join forces to launch BLKFREEDOM.org, a digital commemoration of Juneteenth. Visit www.blkfreedom.org for educational resources and a video premiering at 12noon on June 19th
- A Guided Tour of Maryland’s African-American Historical Markers (This tour was produced in 2017 by the Maryland Historical Trust.)
- Four new historical markers have been installed this fall along Maryland’s roadways. (Maryland Historical Trust Blog, December 10, 2009)
A wide range of local organizations are holding events and campaigns to mark Juneteenth, the oldest national commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. Click the image below to learn more.