b"Understanding aDifficult PastA community celebrates African American history and freedomBY GAIL ROBYN SAFIANJuneteenth Celebration band, June 19, 1900. Photo by Grace Murray Civil War reenactors at the Durand-Hedden House's Juneteenth celebration in Stephenson 2019. The gathering was one of the largest Durand-Hedden has held.Photo by Sandra BartlettR ushistoryisimportant.ItEmancipation Proclamation, and five months afterand the Maplewood Health Department performed evisiting helpsunderstandourpastasthepassageoftheThirteenthAmendment,whichhealth screenings. well as our present, so we can learnended slavery in the United States. The celebrationsThegatheringwasoneofthelargestDurand-fromourerrors.Lastspring,thethat followed began a tradition that has lasted for 155Hedden has held. And it fulfilled the intention to Durand-HeddenHouse,Maple- years, marked by annual events across the country.be reflective of the community. More than half of woodshistorichousemuseum,InterestedinhostingacelebrationofAfricanthe 250 people who attended identified themselves which strives to educate the publicAmerican history and freedom for our local commu-about local and regional history, decided to comple- nities, the Durand-Hedden House joined with the ment an upcoming Juneteenth celebration with anSouthOrange/MaplewoodCommunityCoalition in-depth exhibit on the history of slavery in New Jer- on Race and museum consultant Claudia Ocello of sey. It was most timely, considering that 2019 was theMuseum Partners. The event, held last year at Du-400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africanrand-Hedden and its surrounding Grasmere Park, people in America. It was also a surprising revelationfeatured an array of childrens activities, displays by to researchers and viewers alike.The Nubian Heritage Quilter Guild, reenactors of Juneteenth, sometimes known as Freedom Daythe 6th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops and friends, or Emancipation Day, is a contraction of the wordsandperformancesbytheColumbiaHighSchool JuneNineteenth.ItcommemoratesthebelatedSpecial Dance Company and the Kamate Traders, announcement on June 19, 1865, of the abolitionAfrican drummers and dancers. The SOMA LeagueKamate drummers at the Durand-Hedden House'sof slavery in the state of Texas, 18 months after theof Women Voters offered voter registration forms,Juneteenth celebration. Photo by Joy Yagid12/ matters magazine / spring 2020"