JACKSONVILLE, Florida – The city of Jacksonville will hold its first ever emancipation ceremony next month to educate the community on when the black Floridians were emancipated from slavery.
“Emancipation was proclaimed in Florida on May 20, 1865, and the city of Jacksonville recognizes the importance that matters to our community,” Mayor Lenny Curry said in a statement. “We are excited and humble to support James Weldon Johnson Park as we celebrate this day with a fun festival for the community.”
Emancipation was proclaimed in Tallahassee on May 20, 1865 – eleven days after the end of the Civil War and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s first proclamation to free the people enslaved in the southern states.
The celebration takes place at James Weldon Johnson Park in downtown Jacksonville and features local African American food trucks and vendors, live performances by local musicians, dancers and poets, family activities, a community art project, and a historical exhibit.
The festival is scheduled to last all day, starting at 11 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m. It’s free to the public.
“As a community, we recognize the injustices and injustices of the past with a celebration of unity with a profound purpose. As we continue to celebrate as a community, we still have to work together, ”Councilor Ju’Coby Pittman said in a press release.