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The History of Juneteenth


January 1, 1863 also known as “Freedom’s Eve” the first Watch Night services took place. That night, free and enslaved African Americans gathered together in anticipation of the news that the Emancipation Proclamation had taken effect.


 Celebration of Juneteenth at Emancipation Park with educator 
Valerie Tutson

Valerie Tutson is a multiple award-winning storyteller who has been performing in schools, churches, libraries, festivals and conferences since 1991. She draws her stories from around the world with an emphasis on African traditions. Her repertoire includes stories and songs she learned in her travels to South Africa, her experiences in West Africa and stories from African American history. She is a gradute of Brown University where she earned a Masters degree in theater arts and a BA in her self-designed major of Storytelling as a Communications Art.

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