Latino Heritage Internship Program Intern Isabel Gonzalez tells the story of the Freedmen’s Colony
Did you know that Roanoke Island in North Carolina was a part of the Underground Railroad and played a key role in helping freedom seekers establish new lives for themselves and their families during and after the Civil War?
On Sunday, June 19, our nation observed Juneteenth National Independence Day, a federal holiday commemorating the end of enslavement in the United States. Our friends at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site hosted special events on Roanoke Island to celebrate the day and to remember and honor the members of the Freedmen’s Colony and their descendants, many of whom live on or near the island today.
In celebration of Juneteenth, Outer Banks Forever had the opportunity to attend National Park Service Intern Isabel Gonzalez‘s presentation to learn more about the Freedmen’s Colony on Roanoke Island. Isabel is part of the Latino Heritage Internship Program and is passionate about sharing the lesser-known stories from our national parks.
The Freedmen’s Colony on Roanoke Island was a beacon of hope and a first light of freedom for what would grow to be more than 3,000 people from 1862-1867. While it was a safe haven for these individuals and families, it was not without its challenges and hardships, as you’ll learn as Isabel shares the harrowing and inspiring story of the men, women, and children who came to the island seeking freedom.