The 146th Anniversary of Juneteenth, the passage of the 13th Amendment commemorating the end of slavery, will be celebrated on Saturday, June 18th in Historic Germantown: Freedom’s Backyard. The festival, which includes exhibits, storytellers, and family activities, highlights a common theme among Historic Germantown’s 15 member sites, all of which played a role in the “fight for freedom” and are collectively known as “Freedom’s Backyard.”
Hosted by the Johnson House Historic Site and the 6300 Germantown Avenue Business Alliance, this outdoor festival is free and will be held on the 6300 and 6400 blocks of Germantown Avenue. Artifacts and activities depicting the history of anti-slavery and abolitionist movements are sure to bring history to life for visitors of all ages.
The Johnson House Historic Site, located at 6306 Germantown Avenue, will host a performance at 11:00 am by ‘Harriet Tubman.’ The abolitionist and humanitarian will tell the story of her escapades helping African Americans to seek their freedom. The site will also be open for tours from 12PM to 3PM, telling the compelling story of African Americans seeking freedom and the courage of those who supported the abolition and anti-slavery movements.
Programs on the 6300 Block of Germantown Avenue will include a Historical and Cultural Market Place, a Drumming Circle-featuring the PASEP Drumming & Percussion Ensemble of Temple University; a teen freedom poetry recitation by the Black Writers Museum; the showing of a documentary film entitled ‘My Slave Sister Myself’, as well as youth African and Praise Dance performances by the Philadelphia Institute of Dance. Other activities along the block include face painting, a children’s story hour, exhibits on art and slave memorabilia, and performances by the Enon Baptist Church Youth Choir.
Cliveden, a historic site located at 6401 Germantown Avenue, will feature behind-the-scenes tours of its recently opened Servant’s Quarters from 11am to 3pm as well as a third-person storytelling performance by acclaimed griot storyteller Denise Valentine. Additionally, the Concord School and Upper Burying Ground, located at 6309 Germantown Avenue, will be open from 11am to 4pm for tours.
Historic Germantown is a consortium of 15 cultural and historic sites in Northwest Philadelphia. Member sites range from historic house museums to an arboretum and art museum. For more information about this program and other events in Historic Germantown: Freedom’s Backyard, please visit www.freedomsbackyard.com or call 215-844-1683. Information about the 6300 Germantown Avenue Business Alliance’s can be found on their website at http://6300gtownave.wordpress.com.