WOAHO to celebrate Juneteenth, honor Anna Easter Brown

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The West Orange African Heritage Organization, in partnership with the West Orange Board of Education, will honor historical figure Anna Easter Brown, a West Orange native, on Saturday, June 19, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at West Orange High School’s Library and Media Center, 51 Conforti Ave. 

Brown graduated from West Orange High School in 1897 and went on to attend Howard University, where she was one of the original nine women who founded the Greek-letter sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, incorporated in 1908. 

This is the first year that Juneteenth is an official state holiday in New Jersey.

“I am excited for this first official Juneteenth holiday in New Jersey and to recognize a homegrown historical figure,” WOAHO President and AKA member Althia Tweiten said. 

“Juneteenth is a day to celebrate freedom; however, we must loudly proclaim for those who didn’t get the memo: We are still free,” said Brent Scott, WOAHO historian. “In this time of unprecedented vote suppression laws being enacted from Texas to Florida, Iowa to Arizona, aimed squarely at disenfranchising African American voters, we must not rest on our past successes but forge ahead just as boldly as our forebears.”

During the program, Anna Easter Brown will be added to the Wall of Honor at West Orange High School.