Belle Meade Juneteenth

Juneteenth celebrates the issuance of General Order No. 3 by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger to the people of Texas on June 19, 1865, ordering that all slaves in the state be freed. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had been in effect to a limited extent for two years, and although the 13th Amendment (which declared slavery unconstitutional) had been passed by Congress earlier in the year, the slow speed with which information was disseminated meant that many people living in enslavement in Texas did not realize that freedom had come. While full emancipation across the South did not happen overnight, over time June 19th came to symbolize a date of independence for the formerly enslaved. Beginning in 1866, formerly enslaved men and women in Texas celebrated the first “Juneteeth.” Today, Belle Meade Plantation observes Juneteenth celebrations to honor the more than 136 formerly enslaved individuals who labored on this farm, and to recognize the triumphs of black excellence.

On Saturday, June 22, 2019 from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm Belle Meade Plantation will honor the legacy of African Americans in Nashville by featuring local vendors, artists, speakers, authors, and performances. The days festivities will feature a Black cultural expo including but not limited to vendors such as the Alkebu’lan book store, author, John Baker as a speaker, educational programming from the National Museum of African American Music, and performances from the Sankofa Drum and Dance Ensemble and the New Covenant Christian Church of North Nashville that was founded by the enslaved here on the site.

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