City Hosts Freedom Day Celebration

Crowds gathered in Market Square to celebrate Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, with entertainment and storytelling to commemorate the annual holiday.

Celebrated each year on June 19, the annual holiday observes the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. It marks the day in 1865 when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and issued General Order No. 3, officially proclaiming freedom for the remaining enslaved individuals in the state, although resistance to the order was strong. 

“There is such a historical significance that not many fully understand.”

— Veronica Robin

“It is very special to be here today,” said Veronica Robin, who attended with 95-year-old Bernice Alston. “Bernice’s father was enslaved so that history is really not that far behind us.”

Market Square activities included storytelling with Oumie (Hassanah Thomas) and Vann Di Galloway and music to celebrate Juneteenth and African American heritage.

The Washington Revels Jubilee Voices performed a lively, interactive concert featuring traditional music, dance, and spoken word that celebrated Juneteenth, local stories, history, and the legacy of the African American quest for freedom and equality.

The presentation was co-sponsored by Washington Revels and the Office of Historic Alexandria.

Said Robin, “There is such a historical significance that not many fully understand.”