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State, local organizations celebrate anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation Announcement

State, local organizations celebrate anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation Announcement
State, local organizations celebrate anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation Announcement
Posted at 7:00 PM, May 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-20 15:35:26-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - State and local organizations came together to celebrate the 153rd anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation Announcement.

Dozens of people came to Knott House Museum with songs and speeches, putting on performances to celebrate the day slavery ended in Florida.

"After the reading it was a Hallelujah time because African Americans were free even though it came two and a half years later," said Jarvis Rosier, Second Infantry Regiment U. S. Colored Troops Living History Association President.

The Emancipation Proclamation was signed and put in effect by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, however it was not announced in Florida until 1865.

"Slaves were continuing to literally work on these plantations and their slave masters very well knew that the slaves were freed, but continued in rebellion to keep these slaves in captivity," said Michael Johnson, John G. Riley Center and Museum Director of Education.

Even though Emancipation Day happened many years ago, event organizers want community members to understand the importance of Emancipation Day and how it affects Tallahassee to this day.

"There are tons of lessons to gain, not from just from African-Americans, but from white Americans, it's just an understanding about where we came from," said Johnson.

People decorated the unmarked graves of African-Americans who fought in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

"By laying those wreaths and commemorating those soldiers over there you can't help but think back and be apart of what was going on then. The sacrifice they made some gave all," said Rosier. "We're paying tribute to what they did to get us where we are now."

People were also able to take free tours of the Knott House Museum, the place where the original announcement of the Proclamation was read in 1865.