Juneteenth in Historic Germantown is a celebration commemorating African American freedom, bringing together cultures and communities at one of the few remaining houses on The Underground Railroad, The Johnson House.
Historic Germantown, The Johnson House, a stop on the Underground Railroad and National Historic Landmark will host its annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday June 15, 2013, 10AM-4PM. This year we celebrate the 148th Anniversary of this historic announcement to end slavery in the United States. The Juneteenth Celebration shares the history of the anti-slavery and abolitionist movements that led to our freedom today.
Juneteenth, a free community festival will feature programming at several of our Historic Germantown member sites as well as a variety of activities, displays, exhibits, and performances throughout the 6300 block of Germantown Avenue depicting the history of the anti-slavery and abolitionist movements and the history and celebration of Juneteenth beginning in 1840 through 2013.
The festival will begin with a “Freedom Walk” from the Historic Marker designating the “1st Written Protest Against Slavery” (Germantown Ave. & Wister St.) Organizers and community members will be joined on the “Freedom Walk” by the Resurrected Order 1997 Buffalo Soldiers 9th & 10th Calvary and the Enon Youth Drum line. The parade will stop at Germantown Town Hall, which served as the site of the Civil War Hospital. The Town Hall will be open to the public for the 2013 Hidden City Festival, which will allow visitors to enter the site to experience the tremendous history of the building.
The walk continues on to The Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust, which showcases the table in which the first written protest against slavery was penned on and will feature a panel discussion on, “William Still’s Journal C Manuscript and the Underground Rail Road.” The discussion will present the experiences of African American families escaping to freedom and the networks in the Philadelphia-area Underground Railroad that supported the anti-slavery movement.
The celebration continues until 4PM with re-enactment performances by Harriet Tubman at the Johnson House; sharing stories of how she helped freedom-seekers travel North. Henry “Box” Brown, a 19th-century Virginia slave who escaped slavery by arranging to have himself mailed to Philadelphia abolitionists in a wooden crate will be on the steps of the historic Concord School House along the avenue.
Exhibits will be featured both inside and outside venues along the 6300 block of Germantown Avenue and will include activities for the whole family designed to bring history to life for all to enjoy. The day will include food trucks, vendors, a cultural marketplace, and two stages for live music, dances, and performance pieces.
6325, 6353, 6380 Germantown Ave: “Addy’s World Exhibit: Life of Family from Africa,” viewings of “The Songhai Princess,” “My Slave Sister Myself” viewing (Lest We Forget Traveling Slavery Museum.)
6316 Germantown Ave: Kids activities story-telling, face painting, crafts, games
6301 Germantown Ave: “The Life & Times of Omar Ibn-Sayyid,” Live 18th Century Dramatic Historical Slave Re-enactment (Living History Heritage Project/Images of the Motherland)
Main Stage: African Drumming & Percussion (PASCEP of Temple University), Gospel Choirs, dance troupes, and a variety of live music and a DJ.
Historic Germantown Member Sites – Open for tours during the Juneteenth Celebration
Cliveden of the National Trust:
6401 Germantown Avenue
Concord School & Upper Burying Ground :
6309 Germantown Avenue
Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust :
6133 Germantown Avenue
Johnson House Historic Site:
6306 Germantown Avenue