North Memphis

Video: Juneteenth in Douglass Park

The Douglass Community has been celebrating Juneteenth in Douglass Park since 1993. Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating the day the last slaves in the United States were emancipated.

On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas and read the orders of emancipation issued by President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, but it took two and a half years for the news to reach Texas, which was the westernmost slave-holding state.

The Douglass community was established by William Rush-Plummer. He was given 40 acres of land after his emancipation and named it Douglass in honor of Frederick Douglass.

Douglass was born into slavery but escaped to freedom. He then pinned two of the most influential and acclaimed books in American history, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave" and "Life and Times of Frederick Douglass."

Typically, Douglass' Juneteenth celebration is a three-day event with music, cookouts, horseback rides, performances, and more. In this year's pandemic, the Douglass community did things a little differently.

The Time is Now Douglass CDC, the Official Black Lives Matter Memphis Chapter, and Memphis Artists for Change partnered to supply hundreds of produce boxes, free lunch from local food trucks, masks, and hand sanitizer to residents of North Memphis and beyond.


Juneteenth at Douglass Park from High Ground News on Vimeo.

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