Hampton National Historic Site Hosts Second Annual Juneteenth Celebration
Eastern National was proud to help support Hampton National Historic Site’s second annual Juneteenth celebration in June. Over 50 people gathered in the summer heat for an afternoon of storytelling, history, and African drumming and dancing in celebration of this important U.S. holiday. Juneteenth marks the day (June 19, 1865) when African Americans in Texas received the news that the Civil War was over—two months after the rest of the country and two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
Hampton’s Juneteenth celebration commemorated African Americans’ freedom and achievements, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all. The celebration featured drumming and dancing performances by the Kuer Khaleyi African Dance Company and storytelling in the African oral tradition by Linda Goss from the National Association of Black Storytellers and David Fakunle, African drummer/griot. Kay Merrill, president of the Griots’ Circle of Maryland, and Park Ranger Anokwale Anansesemfo “edutained” and engaged the audience.
Funding for this event’s performances and storytelling was provided as part of an Eastern National Competitive Grant. Hampton National Historic Site was awarded the $8,823 grant in support of the park’s 2018 interpretive and educational programs.