Durand-Hedden, CCR to present ‘Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom’

Photo Courtesy of Grace Murray Stephenson, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library
The above picture was taken on Juneteenth Emancipation Day, June 19, 1900.

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Juneteenth, an African American holiday marking the end of slavery, will be celebrated on Saturday, June 19, at the Durand-Hedden House, 523 Ridgewood Road in Maplewood, in collaboration with the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race. It is part of a larger celebration by the towns of Maplewood and South Orange to mark this holiday.

The event at Durand-Hedden will feature several well-known historical reenactors performing outdoors, including Daisy Century interpreting Harriet Tubman and talking about the Emancipation Proclamation; Daniel Carlton portraying an enslaved man during the period of the Fugitive Slave Act, in an interactive presentation; and Teretha Jones, reenacting Elizabeth Keckley, seamstress and confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln.

In addition, members of the Maplewood Black Poets Project will read from their works. There will also be a display of artwork by noted local black artist Mansa Mussa.

Inside the house, an exhibit about the origins of Juneteenth and the history of slavery in New Jersey will provide historical context to the day. The booklet based on the exhibit recently won an award from the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey.

Access to the site is by reservation in one-hour sessions between 11 a.m. and 2:45 p.m., free of charge. A separate town-run family Juneteenth Storybook Project, led by MapSO Youth and the Maplewood Division of Arts and Culture, as well as storytelling, will take place by reservation on the front lawn of Jefferson School beginning at 10 a.m.

Reservations for both events can be made at https://maplewood.recdesk.com/Community/Program?category=9.