The City of Melrose, in collaboration with the North Shore Juneteenth Association (NSJA), will host its second-annual Juneteenth flag raising ceremony on Monday, June 20 at 11 a.m. outside the Melrose Public Library located at 69 West Emerson St.
During the event, Janey David will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often referred to as the Black national anthem, remarks from NSJA speaker, Kashawn Little, Mayor Paul Brodeur, Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian, and Senator Jason Lewis. Mayor Brodeur encourages everyone to participate in Melrose’s local event or start a tradition of their own.
"Spreading awareness about the Juneteenth holiday has been an amazing experience for our organization and we are so excited to share the oldest known celebration of Black American Freedom with the residents of Melrose," shared Nicole McClain, President of the NSJA.
Despite Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation taking effect on January 1, 1863, hundreds of thousands of Black people continued to be enslaved in the United States. It was not until Union soldiers delivered the news of the abolition of slavery in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, that the last group of enslaved Black people in the United States were freed. The following year, on June 19, 1866, the first official Juneteenth celebrations took place in Texas.