D.C. Emancipation Day Events This Thursday
This Thursday, April 16 marks the 153rd anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Washington, D.C. Over 3,000 enslaved persons were freed in the District eight months before the Emancipation Proclamation called for the end of slavery in 1862.
A series of events will be held to commemorate D.C. Emancipation Day, beginning with a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 16.
Freedom Plaza will serve as the end of the parade route and the venue for a concert at 5 p.m. that will feature performances from Doug E. Fresh, Maysa, Eric Benet, Raheem DeVaighn and more.
A program discussing black life in the District in the 19th century will take place at the National Archives at 7th Street and Constitution Avenue NW from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The discussion is presented by the Smithsonian National Museum for African American History and Culture, The National Archives and the D.C. Office of Public Records.
A candlelight vigil at the African American Civil War Memorial & Museum on Vermont Avenue and U Street NW will begin at 6 p.m. It will feature a reading of the names of the 3,100 enslaved individuals freed by the Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862, as well as a screening of Marvin Jones's film on Dunbar High School.
The night ends with fireworks at 8:30 p.m. and a screening of Selma at 9:15 p.m., both at Freedom Plaza.