This week, there are several events leading up to the Emancipation Day Holiday that commemorates the emancipation of slaves within the District of Columbia.
On April 16 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia. The Act freed about 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia nine months before President Lincoln issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation. This historic day was considered the formerly enslaved’s 4th of July. In 2005, Emancipation Day became an official public holiday in the District.
Monday, April 12
RECOGNITION CEREMONY AND FILM DOCUMENTARY: Mrs. Loretta Carter Hanes, Reviver of D. C. Emancipation Day
Charles Sumner Museum, 1201 Seventeenth Street, N.W., Great Hall, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Sponsored by African-American Holiday Association – 202-667-2577. Free and open to the public.
Thursday, April 15
Wreath Laying Ceremony: Wreath laying at the African-American Civil War Memorial, 1200 U Street NW at 11AM. The ceremony will also include re-enactments and a youth choir.
Friday, April 16
D.C. EMANCIPATION DAY RALLY & MARCH to HONOR THE ANCESTORS AND STRIVE TOWARDS REAL DEMOCRACY AND STATEHOOD
RALLY: 11:00 am at Franklin Square (13th & I Streets, NW), speakers include: Rev. E. Gail Anderson-Holness, Rev. Graylan Hagler, Councilmembers Michael A. Brown, Yvette Alexander and Vincent Gray, Senators Michael Brown and Paul Strauss, Singer – Luci Murphy and Friends, and the Washington Youth Choir, Singer Ayesha Dancy and an Emancipation Re-enactment and YOU!
MARCH: 12:30 pm to D.C. Historical Society (9th & K Streets, NW) with Emancipation Film, discussion. Free and open to the public!
Friday, April 16
2010 Emancipation Day Celebration: DC Almost 150 Years Later : Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th St NW, 4 PM (Langston Room): Celebrate the 148th anniversary of the legal abolition of chattel slavery in Washington, DC: Emancipation Day. Discuss the significant role that African-American abolition organizers played in the movement to end enslavement in Washington, DC. ONE DC will facilitate an interactive and informative discussion about how the legacy of movement-building for justice and equity is sustained in Washington, DC. RSVP TODAY with ONE DC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call for more information at 202-232-2915.
View the full list of events here.