Emancipation Day: The District of Columbia April 16, 2018 – Posted in: Culture, In the Community – Tags: African Culture, DC, District of Columbia, Emancipation Day, I am Black and I am Proud, Washington
The District of Columbia (D.C.) is the capital city of this country known as “the free world”. It is the only city in the U.S. that functions as a state without representation in Congress. Although it houses this country’s federal government, it has its own local government that makes forward moves. Most might know of emancipation day as the day slaves were emancipated, but in D.C. on April 16th 1862, the D.C. Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 was signed by Lincoln. Nine months later, it went into effect around the country under the Emancipation Proclamation. This act ended slavery in Washington, D.C. freeing more than 3,000 people, reimbursing those who had legally owned them and offering the newly freed women and men money to emigrate. D.C. is known to be one of the only places to compensate former slave owners for $300/person. The local holiday was originally celebrated from 1866-1901, was forgotten, and then revitalized by a lady named Loretta Carter-Hanes whose thorough research reintroduced the important day.
To commemorate the passing of this law and the effective change it enacted before the emancipation proclamation passed federally; the city of D.C. hosts a parade and concert with live locals including other dope headliners. This year’s line-up included Brandy, Angie Stone, Big Daddy Kane, Allure, Ayre Rayde, Rare Essence, DJ Rico, Classically Dope, Luther Relives, Drew Tillman, & Lightshow; giving you a taste of D.C. sounds & vibes alongside other well known performers.
Change is inevitable and it may be a little debatable but as a DMV (DC, MD, & VA) native I think D.C. has been at the forefront of change, at least within my young lifetime. I hope this Emancipation Day gives you something to consider as we progress through the future as a people, and an influential culture in America. You must know where you came from to know where you’re going.
More information about D.C.’s Emancipation Day can be found here:
“On Emancipation Day in D.C., Pennsylvania Avenue comes alive with a parade of military, students and bands, followed by a fun-filled festival. Public school children have the day off and many government offices are closed so the parade draws large crowds along its route. At the end of the day and after the festival, the sky comes alight with a fireworks show.”
This year the parade and concert were held on the Saturday before the 16th.
PIO, Resident Fashion Designer and Blogger Consultant