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Juneteenth is often cited as African-American Independence Day, a special day of recognition by many municipalities and states. The observances commemorate June 19, 1865, the day the Emancipation Proclamation was finally enforced in Texas, the last of the seceding states to be occupied by the federal army. At the time, an estimated 250,000 persons were still enslaved in Texas, despite the signing of the proclamation more than two years earlier.


2021 Event Descriptions

Walk for Freedom:

An independent walk at your own pace and desired space to acknowledge Juneteenth and its symbolism for freedom. To share your walk with us on social media, use the #DACFreedomWalk on your post.

Day: Monday, June 14 - Saturday, June 19

Anytime & any open space that's comfortable for you, your family, and friends! For large groups, we highly encourage the use of social distancing and face coverings.


Annual Lecture:

This year our  annual lecture titled "Collective Action, Liberation, and the Power of your Voice", will be delivered by guest speaker Dr. Ashley Robertson-Preston, from Howard University. After the lecture (approximately 45-minutes) the remaining time will be for live Q&A.

View the recorded lecture here.

Time & Day: Thursday, June 17 from noon - 1 PM


STEMFest Film Festival: A celebration of African-American & Caribbean STEM Professionals

Students at Falmouth and Mashpee high schools have created a series of short videos interviewing African-American STEM professionals in a variety of careers including epidemiology, primatology, biology, landscape architecture, engineering, fisheries management, science education, and more.  Come to the premiere to hear their inspiring stories.

Time & Day: Thursday, June 17 from  6:30 – 8:00  PM

Watch the premiere live here ( via Zoom. Registration is not required.


Juneteenth holiday:

We encourage our community members to acknowledge this monumental day by signing a petition to the United States Congress on to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday in all 50 states.

News update! On Thursday, June 17 President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act making Juneteenth (June 19) an official federal holiday. 

Day: Saturday, June 19


 -- Download the 2021 Juneteenth Flyer --

 Additional Juneteenth history & educational resources


Lesser known history of slavery in the North:

The Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1641 was the first colony in North America to codify the system of slavery which was to be the law in Massachusetts. Without the large plantations of the south, many families only held two or three slaves. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts abolished slavery in 1783. Nearby Rhode Island (a colonial era producer of rum) was a keystone in the triangle slave trade between Africa, the West Indies, and the British colonies.   People not Property, Stories of Slavery in the Colonial North, is an educational website produced by Historic Hudson Valley in New York State, which explains the blunt story of what slavery is and what it means to be a slave.


The African-American Heritage Trail on Martha's Vineyard:

The African-American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard is a community run organization which has developed over 30 historic sites on the Island which honor the formerly forgotten contributions of citizens of African descent, who have had a major impact upon the development and history of Martha’s Vineyard. Learn more about the Heritage Trail through this Martha’s Vineyard NAACP interview with founders Elaine Cawley Weintraub and Carrie Camillo Tankard.Recently, the African-American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard dedicated the 32nd site on the Heritage Trail, The Nameless Trail, to the memory of the slaves who lived and worked on Martha’s Vineyard as well as those slaves who travelled through this island, which is located just 4 miles from Woods Hole. Students from the Martha’s Vineyard Charter School researched and created The Nameless Trail. The website of the African-American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard has further information about the trail and educational tours.


More ways to celebrate:

Visit the official "How to Celebrate" page for more ideas