Connecticut communities hold Juneteenth events

A ceremony to honor over two dozen Black men from Westport who fought for their freedoms was held at Evergreen Cemetery in Westport.

Emily Knapton, Rose Shannon and Mark Sudol

Jun 19, 2024, 10:55 AM

Updated 32 days ago

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Several Connecticut towns, including Westport and Fairfield, held events to observe Juneteeth Wednesday.
Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery, marking the day enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, learned about their freedom.
A ceremony to honor over two dozen Black men from Westport who fought for their freedoms was held at Evergreen Cemetery in Westport.
"Over 80% of the eligible Black men in this state in Connecticut joined and fought in the Civil War on the side of the Union for freedom of African Americans in the south. And among those men we have the 29th so-called colored infantry unit made up of men throughout the state, including 14 from Westport," says Ramin Ganeshram, the executive director of the Westport Museum.
Mark Sudol's earlier Juneteenth coverage:
The ceremony also included a commemoration of an unmarked grave of a Civil War lieutenant.
In front of the museum, there are over 240 bricks named for the number of people enslaved in Westport in the 18th century.
Fairfield hosted its first Juneteenth commemorative event at the Burr Mansion and Town Hall Green.
"We're not free of guilt in this respect and it is really incumbent upon on us to recognize that and so this holiday for me at least has become more than just the final freedom of slaves in Texas," said First Selectman Bill Gerber (D) Fairfield.
Connecticut was the last state in New England to abolish slavery in 1848.


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