De Hirsh Margules, Mother Ann Lighthouse, Eastern Point, Gloucester, 1946. Gouache on paper. Gift of Jean M. Horblit, 2002. [Acc. #2002.004.002]
This weekend marks just the second year that Juneteenth has been observed as a federal holiday, but the celebration is far from new. The holiday commemorates the day in 1865, when enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas, finally received word that they were free. The date has been celebrated, particularly in Black communities, often in the spirit of the Fourth of July, an acknowledgement that large segments of the population were included in the colonists declaration of freedom from tyranny.
Presented by the North Shore Juneteenth Association and the Cape Ann Museum, the festival will feature readings of the work of Frederick Douglass, a yoga class, face painting, lawn games, flag-making, and XX. In the historic Ellery house, quilts by Black Gloucester artist Doris Elizabeth Prouty will be on display, and in the museum building, visitors can view an installation by two contemporary artists, inspired by Prouty’s work.