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Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom and Gospel Music Celebration At Booker T. Washington National MonumentHardy, VA - On Saturday, June 17, 2017, Booker T. Washington National Monument is hosting the annual Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom and Gospel Music Celebration. Everyone is invited to share in the fellowship, fun, and festivities as our community comes together to celebrate one of the most important moments in our nation’s history, the moment of emancipation. The celebration will begin at 11:00 a.m. A park tour will be held at 12:00 noon and 2:30 p.m. that is a living history costumed re-enactment of the moment when freedom came to the enslaved men, women, and children on the Burroughs plantation, where Booker T. Washington was born.
This celebration commemorates the release of approximately four million people of African descent from the bonds of slavery after the end of the Civil War. Booker T. Washington remembered the great day of emancipation stating his mother “was standing by my side, leaned over and kissed her children, while tears of joy ran down her cheeks. She explained to us what it all meant, that this was the day for which she had been so long praying, but fearing that she would never live to see.” This life changing moment occurred between April and May of 1865. Sadly, everyone held in the bonds of slavery did not share the same sweet story. In some areas of the country the news did not spread very quickly. For these areas, it took months.
On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger arrived in Texas to issue General Order 3. This order did what the Emancipation Proclamation intended to do in January of 1863. All enslaved Africans were freed. Celebrations erupted in Texas! This is the celebration of Juneteenth. Gospel music groups are scheduled for the following times: 11:30 a.m. 4-Ever Blessed 12:20 a.m. The Appointed Messengers 12:45 p.m. Perkins & Envision 1:10 p.m. The Joy Bells 1:45 p.m. Spiritual 7 3:00 p.m. Darrel McFadden and the Disciples 4:00 Closing Remarks The event is free. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Food vendors will be selling a variety of food, drinks, and desserts at this event. For additional information, please contact Park Ranger Timothy Sims at Booker T. Washington National Monument at (540) 721-2094.