Celebrating Juneteenth: Honoring Freedom and Commemorating History

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, holds tremendous significance in American history. On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, were finally informed of their freedom, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued. Today, Juneteenth serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring struggle for equality and justice. In the spirit of honoring this momentous occasion, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in the City of Perth Amboy is hosting an extraordinary celebration on Monday, June 19. Join in the festivities as we pay tribute to the past, celebrate the present, and embrace a future filled with unity and progress.

Commemoration of the Landing of Enslaved Africans

The day will commence at 11:00 am at the Perth Amboy Ferry Slip, where a poignant commemoration will take place to honor the landing of enslaved Africans. This solemn moment invites reflection and remembrance of the countless lives impacted by the institution of slavery. By acknowledging this painful history, we set the stage for a deeper understanding and commitment to social justice.

U.S. Senator Cory Booker is scheduled to attend

Launch of the Reparations Council

During this Juneteenth celebration, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice will launch its Reparations Council, featuring several elected officials and dignitaries. Esteemed figures like Senator Cory Booker, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, NJ Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, Rev. Charles Boyer, and Ryan Haygood will be present. This significant event highlights the ongoing efforts to address the historic injustices faced by Black communities and seeks to foster meaningful dialogue and actionable solutions.

Memorial at the Monument for Enslaved Africans

Following the commemoration, a procession will lead participants to St. Peter’s Church, where a memorial at the monument for enslaved Africans will be held. This solemn gathering pays tribute to those who suffered and lost their lives while in bondage. By acknowledging their pain and resilience, we honor their memory and pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable future.

Music Program and Procession to City Hall Circle

At noon, St. Peter’s Church will host a captivating Music Program, infusing the celebration with joy and unity. The power of music to uplift, inspire, and heal will be on full display as talented artists and performers take the stage. Following the program, a vibrant procession will make its way to Perth Amboy City Hall Circle, symbolizing the forward march towards a more just society.

Juneteenth Flag-Raising Ceremony and Bell Ringing

The celebration continues at 1:00 pm with a Juneteenth flag-raising ceremony, an iconic moment that honors the resilience and triumph of African Americans in their pursuit of freedom. The ringing of church bells throughout the City of Perth Amboy will resound, symbolizing a collective call to action and remembrance.

Support from Bishop Stokes and the Reparations Commission

Bishop Stokes, Bishop-Elect French, Jonathan Gloster, and other members of the Reparations Commission will be present to support St. Peter’s Episcopal Church throughout the day’s events. Their participation underscores the significance of recognizing and addressing the historical wrongs committed against African Americans, paving the way for healing, justice, and reconciliation.