9th Annual Juneteenth Seminar, “Footprints and Roots”

The Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. Prince George’s County Maryland Chapter (AAHGS-PGCM), the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Suitland (Maryland), and the Prince George’s County Historical Society will jointly sponsor the Ninth Annual Juneteenth Seminar, “Footprints and Roots,” on Saturday, June 14, 2014, at the Nature Center at Watkins Regional Park, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774, from 8:30 A.M. – 4:00 P.M..  The seminar will consist of a series of workshops for beginning to advanced family researchers.  Vera J. Williams, the great great great granddaughter of Solomon Northrup (author of Twelve Years a Slave), and her son, Justin Gilliam will deliver the keynote address.  In addition to workshops for adults on such topics as beginning genealogy, the Woodlawn Cemetery in Washington, DC,  the “Dover Eight” (a group of slaves, who escaped from Delaware on the Underground Railroad), access and research to the Afro-American Newspaper Archives, and reconstructing families torn apart by slavery, there will be a full day of workshops and activities for children.  The children’s (ages 7-12) activities are designed to introduce them to the world of genealogy and family history.

Juneteenth is celebrated in more than 200 cities in the United States to commemorate the final announcement of the emancipation of enslaved persons in Galveston, Texas, in June of 1865, This event took place some two years after the original proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863.  The newly freed men and women, who could not read or write, orally recorded the day as one of the teenths in June.   From that day until this, there have been celebrations throughout the United States to mark the date.  Juneteenth, as it came to be called, is a national holiday in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

In conjunction with this event, the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation will hold a family fun day in the park from noon until five. Bring a picnic basket, blanket, and lawn chair and participate in an afternoon of live entertainment, with guest speakers, games, arts, and crafts.  Ethnic and regional food will be available for purchase by a variety of vendors. There will also be information booths staffed by Prince George’s County civic and community groups,

All the activities at both of these community events are FREE and open to the public.  For more information, call Carolyn Rowe, (301) 292-2751 or Jane Thomas, (301) 292-1207.