From the Durand-Hedden House
Juneteenth, an African American holiday marking the end of slavery, will be celebrated on Saturday, June 19, at the Durand-Hedden House, 523 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood, in collaboration with the South Orange-Maplewood Community Coalition on Race. It is part of a larger celebration by the Township of Maplewood and the Township of South Orange Village to mark this important holiday.
The event at Durand-Hedden will feature several well-known African American historical reenactors performing outdoors, including Daisy Century interpreting Harriet Tubman and talking about the Emancipation Proclamation; Daniel Carlton portraying an enslaved man during the period of the Fugitive Slave Act, in an interactive presentation; and Teretha Jones, reenacting Elizabeth Keckley, seamstress and confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln.
In addition, members of the Maplewood Black Poets Project will read from their works. There will also be a display of artwork by noted local Black artist Mansa Mussa.
Inside the house, an exhibit about the origins of Juneteenth and the history of slavery in New Jersey will provide historical context to the day. The booklet based on the exhibit recently won an award from the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey.
Access to the site is by reservation in one-hour sessions between 11:00 am and 2:45 pm, free of charge. A separate town-run family Juneteenth Storybook Project, led by MapSO Youth and the Maplewood Division of Arts and Culture, as well as storytelling, will take place by reservation (at the same link) on the front lawn of Jefferson School beginning at 10:00 am.
Reservations for both can be made at https://maplewood.recdesk.com/Community/Program?category=9
The Country Store at Durand-Hedden will be open, offering history-themed treasures, including early American games, books, and toys; quill pens and ink; historic cookbooks; cookie molds; tin lanterns; decorative items, and local honey. The Store will also have the exhibit booklet, Slavery in New Jersey: A Troubled History, for sale.
Parking is available on neighboring streets. Admission is free upon registration; donations are appreciated.
About Durand-Hedden House and Garden
Durand-Hedden House is dedicated to telling the history of the development of Maplewood and the surrounding area in new and engaging ways. It is located in Grasmere Park, 523 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood. For more information or to arrange group tours call 973-763-7712. Visit www.durandhedden.org and find us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the SOMA Community Coalition on Race
The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race is a nationally recognized non-profit organization that envisions a community that is a model for the nation in which people of different races, ethnic groups, and backgrounds can interact, form friendships, and participate fully in the community’s economic, political, civic, educational, and cultural life. The Coalition creates strategies to support stably integrated residential neighborhoods, advocates for racial equity and excellence for all students in the schools, and brings the community together to learn, to build relationships across racial and cultural barriers, and to celebrate differences. The Coalition’s website is www.communitycoalitiononrace.org.