“Emancipation Week” Activities Highlight Freedom Struggle in Florida

Online and offline events the week of May 15 – May 20 mark 152nd anniversary of the Civil  War Emancipation of African Americans in the Sunshine State

Miami, FL —  Saturday, May 20 marks the 152nd anniversary of the emancipation of Florida slaves. New Florida Majority (NewFM), in an effort to highlight continuing racial injustices that persist in the state and around the nation, is highlighting a week of events that looks to open up the discussion around the current economic, political and social status of the black community in the Sunshine State.

Events for the week include:

  • A Monday press conference highlighting the plight of returning citizens and efforts to not just restore their voting rights, but also their economic and social standing in the community 
  • Focused discussions on radio programs 1080 AM and 103.5 The Beat with community leaders and activists.
  • Community events in South Florida targeting the inequality in park and recreational services.
  • A community screening of Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation
  • Social media activity culminating in a Twitter storm on the issue. #FreedomAintFree

Union General Edward M. McCook officially announced in Tallahassee the freeing of the state’s African slave population 11 days after the end of the Civil War on May 20, 1865. The Emancipation Proclamation reading is marked annually in the state capital by a reenactment ceremony organized by the Museum of Florida History, the Knott House and the John G. Riley Museum. For decades after the initial proclamation, African-American communities across the state carried out celebrations as a way of both honoring the past and celebrating the present. While the end of slavery in Texas is commonly observed as the end of slavery in the U.S. and celebrated as Junteenth, Florida’s own day provides an opportunity to honor the history of, and continued fight for freedom for, historically marginalized communities.  

“Emancipation Week is necessary to shed light on the continuing challenges America faces in combatting racism, inequity and inequality,” said New Florida Majority Political Director Dwight Bullard. “We hope to start a ractical conversation about the meaning of freedom and what still needs to be done to make that a reality for more people. Hopefully, it’s a discussion that will continue beyond the week and towards some very important elections starting this summer.”

All events are open to the press. For more questions, please contact press@newfloridamajority.org

NewFM 2017 Emancipation Week Activities

Monday, May 15th
3 p.m. Kick-off Press Conference at American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) office (4343 W Flagler St, Coral Gables, FL 33134 )  featuring:

Melba Pearson, Deputy Director at ACLU Florida
Dwight Bullard, Political Director at NewFM
Rod Kemp & Luis Garcia of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC)
David Tucker, Vice President at Transition, Inc.

Tuesday, May 16th
1:30 PM Freedom and Rights Restoration Conversation on Everyday Praise 1080 AM with Bishop James Adams.

Wednesday, May 17th
4 p.m. Dwight Bullard joins Papa Keith and other guests (including Octavia Yearwood and Fl State Senator Oscar Braynon) to Discussing Black Freedom and Power on 103.5 The Beat interview.

6:30 p.m. – Morningside Park Community Meeting to Discuss Current and Future Plans for the Park (Address)    

Thursday, May 18
7 p.m. Freedom Flicks: Nate Parkers Birth of a Nation viewing (NewFM Office: 8330 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138)

Friday, May 19
Twitter Storm using #FreedomAintFree

Saturday, May 20th
Occupy The Park with 103.5 The Beat and Papa Keith at Alonzo Kelly Park (1455 NW 67th St, Miami, FL 33147)  – NewFM and the Liberty City community began the Occupy The Park movement as a way to reclaim Alonzo Kelly Park as a safe haven for the community without the heavy hand of the criminal justice system. Join us on Emancipation Day at our fifth gathering, as we celebrate this community-led restoration effort and reflect on what freedom looks like for black and brown communities in 2017.

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  1. Pingback: Community Leaders Highlight the Current Florida Freedom Struggle 152 years after the Civil War Emancipation of African Americans – The New Florida Majority

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