Dr. Joanne Martin
Celebrating Freedom: A Historical Narrative
This year, Parks & People had its first official Juneteenth observation. Since this is a relatively young national holiday, our Diversity Equity Inclusion Justice Committee thought it would be beneficial to our staff and board to host a lecture on the background of the holiday. We wish to provide everyone with historical context and an education of what exactly Juneteenth is, examine its significance, and follow with an open seminar. We were blessed by hosting noted historian and Founder of the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Dr. Joanne Martin.
Dr. Martin provided us with an incredibly enriching presentation entitled “Celebrating Freedom: A Historical Narrative” in which she took us through all of the national and regional liberation celebrations including Circle Celebrations, Pinkster’s Day, Maryland’s Jubilee Day, and of course Juneteenth itself. Dr. Martin reminded us that all citizens of this country are tied together through history, so it will never be enough to simply learn your own story. When we teach ourselves and future generations our shared histories, we gain vital context for our world today. Our staff gained valuable insight on power, race, class and we get to use this education to inform our equity work. We offer a huge thank you to Dr. Martin for her time and talent!