It was on June 19, 1865 that African-Americans received their first taste of freedom with the abolition of chattel slavery in the United States.
The Johnson House Historic Site in Historic Germantown will commemorate Juneteenth with its annual Juneteenth Festival this weekend.
Philadelphia’s Juneteenth Festival kicks off Saturday, June 18 at 10 a.m. at 5109 Germantown Avenue, the State Marker honoring the site where the first printed anti-slavery document, the First Protest of 1688, was written.
A Freedom Walk parade will proceed up Germantown Avenue to the Johnson House Historic Site. Formerly owned by Quaker abolitionists, the Johnson House now holds a well-preserved Philadelphia Underground Railroad stop.
Throughout the day, other Historic Germantown sites will be participating in various Juneteenth events including an author talk and book signing with Drew Hart and a theater performance of Liberty to Go to See, a play based on the Chew Family Papers.
Later in the day, enjoy historical reenactments, an African-American cultural marketplace, a pop-up beer garden, the Black Colleges Matter Panel and the Unsung Hero Awards which will honor businesswoman and activist Mrs. Ena Linder Swain.
Beyond Historic Germantown, the Philadelphia Community of Leaders host the inaugural Juneteenth celebration in Center City this Saturday with a parade from Washington Square to the African American Museum and special events throughout the day.
The festivities kick off at Washington Square Park at 8:30 a.m. and continue all day long with the parade, which promises music, drummers, dancers, floats and more, and an African marketplace and discussions with dignitaries at the African American Museum.
AAMP will be open until 7:30 p.m. with its regular exhibitions and special programming, too.