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2019 Juneteenth Celebration

Saturday, June 15, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Join us for our annual Juneteenth Celebration honoring the heritage, human dignity and history of the Underground Railroad in the Kennett Square area. Free parking available in the municipal parking garage on the 100 Block of East Linden.


*Movie and Book Display at the Kennett Library 11am to 3pm

With the exception of the movie the Kennett Library — All Activities take place on the 300 Block of East Linden Street – either on the Street or in the New Garden Memorial  UAME Church. 

*Kennett Underground Railroad Pop Up Museum (includes “Ask an Expert”- chat with historian Chris Densmore) 12pm to 3pm

*Presentation by Dr. Cheryl Gooch author of Hinsonville Heroes and On Africa’s Lands 12:30pm

*Oni Lasana performs Always Free! A Juneteenth Celebration 1PM to 2PM  “They told me I was born a slave, but in my mind, heart, and soul, I was always free!”

Storyteller and poet, Oni Lasana presents as Mary Ella Grandberry. She tells what life was before and after the Emancipation Proclamation. Enslaved African female narratives are featured with the spoken word of Paul Laurence Dunbar and the music of Sweet Honey In The Rock. More info: www.OniLasana.com 

* Twin Poets 2PM performance –Identical twins Al Mills and Nnamdi Chukwuocha, known as the Twin Poets, are master level social workers, award-winning spoken word poets, nonprofit administrators, community activists, and appointed in December 2015 as the 17th Poets Laureate of the State of Delaware. As Poets Laureate the Twin Poets have been strong advocates for poetry throughout the state by: Incorporating spoken word and creative writing programming into schools and community centers; introducing poetry as a tool for transformation within detention centers and correctional facilities; trauma work with fellow veterans and taking spoken word into communities affected by gun violence.


Dr. Cheryl Gooch and members of the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, Company B –  Re-enactors

Carter CDC – Study Buddies with ACOLA (advisory commission on latino affairs) OUR ROOTS – NUESTRAS RAÍCES
Who We Are, Where We’re From -Kennett Square is proud to be a diverse town. Some of our families arrived this year from countries far away; some families have roots dating back 100 or 200 years. During this interactive mapping activity children and adults will have the opportunity to “put a pin in it” to show where their families’ connective geographies.  This activity is a conversation about the many journeys that have brought us together to be one community, and about the dreams that led us or our parents or our great-great-grandparents to leave one place and find a home here. Whether it’s Black families that arrived from North Carolina or Virginia in the 1800s, Quaker families that made their way here in the 1600s, or Latina/o families that have found Kennett Square in the last decade

Bucktoe Cemetery and The Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County  –  read more about the work of Crystal Crampton and the history of this important site



A partnership of the:

ACOLA – advisory commission on latino affairs
Bethel A.M.E. Church
Carter CDC – Study Buddies program
Historic Kennett Square
Kennett Library
Kennett Underground Railroad Center
Martin Luther King CommUNITY of Greater Kennett Area
New Garden Memorial UAME

Financial Support Generously Provided by:

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

La historia del 19 de Junio es la celebración más antigua que conmemora el fin de la esclavitud en los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica.  El 19 de Junio de 1865 los soldados del Ejército de la Unión al mando del General Gordon Grangler llegaron a Galveston, Tejas con la noticia de que la guerra entre el norte y el sur había terminado y que a partir de ese momento todos los esclavos eran libres.  Nótese que esto sucedió dos años y medio después de la Proclamación de Emancipación oficial ocurrida el 1ero. de enero de 1863, cuando el Presidente Abraham Lincoln abolió oficialmente, la esclavitud. La Emancipación o Abolición de la Esclavitud había tenido poco impacto entre los tejanos debido a la escasa presencia de tropas del Ejército de la Unión capaces de poder hacer cumplir esta nueva Orden Ejecutiva.  Sin embargo, al rendirse el General Lee en abril de 1865 y con la llegada de las tropas del General Granger a Tejas, las fuerzas armadas fueron lo suficientemente poderosas para superar la resistencia.


The mission of the Juneteenth Celebration is to utilize scholarship, story-telling and performance to bring to life the story of Kennett Borough and its involvement with the underground railroad. By educating our residents and visitors about our shared past, we hope to encourage unity in the present and continue the living legacy of offering support and assistance to our neighbors regardless of race, creed or color.

La Misión

La Misión de la Celebración del 19 de Junio es hacer uso de estudios académicos, cuenta- historias y actuaciones teatrales para revivir la historia de la Ciudad de Kennett Square y su participación en el ‘ferrocarril subterráneo’, traducción literal del concepto Underground Railroad que se refiere al movimiento social clandestino que ayudó a que los esclavos escaparan huyendo hacia ‘el norte.’  Al  educar a nuestros residentes y turistas sobre nuestro pasado común esperamos 1) generar mayor unidad e inclusión en el momento presente, y 2) continuar compartiendo nuestro legado histórico al ofrecer apoyo a todos nuestros vecinos, sin importar su origen étnico, color de piel, lengua o religión.


Juneteenth is an African American tradition that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas but in recent years has come to refer to the freeing of the enslaved. The Juneteenth celebration in Kennett Borough will focus attention on the important role that this small town and surrounding area played in the quest for freedom with a focus on the underground railroad and the role abolitionists, black and white, played in assisting freedom seekers to escape from slavery. This one day celebration is intended to honor our past, present, and future, as a diverse and proud community, and to encourage a dialogue about the quest for human dignity and equality while highlighting Kennett Borough’s unique historic character.


La fiesta del 19 de Junio es una tradición afroamericana que conmemora lo sucedido el 19 de junio de 1865, cuando se dió a conocer la abolición de la esclavitud en Tejas, pero más recientemente lo que celebramos es a la liberación de los esclavos en general.  La celebración del 19 de junio en Kennett Square tiene como objetivo dar a conocer y resaltar el papel tan importante que jugó este pequeño poblado, y su área circunvecina, en la lucha por la liberación de los esclavos — enfocándonos precisamente en el movimiento clandestino conocido como Underground Railroad y en el papel que los abolicionistas, negros y blancos, jugaron al ayudar a escapar a los que buscaban la libertad.  Este día tiene como propósito honrar nuestro pasado, nuestro presente y futuro como una comunidad unida y orgullosa, que favorece el diálogo en la búsqueda por la dignidad humana y la equidad, al mismo tiempo que resalta el carácter histórico único de Kennett Square, Pensilvania.


E. Linden Street
300 E. Linden
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania 19348
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