Germantown Juneteenth Festival brings history to life

Germantown marked its 10th Juneteenth Festival Saturday, celebrating the role of the region in fighting slavery in the United States.

Historic reenactments took place at Johnson House Historic Site, a former stop on the Underground Railroad. Millicent Sparks drew a small crowd into the shade of the garden with her reenactment of Harriet Tubman. Ron Carter, as Frederick Douglass, read the Emancipation Proclamation.

At the start of the day, a few blocks down Germantown Avenue, a small group paid respects by pouring libation at a historic marker on the site where the first protests against slavery took place. Philly Children’s March, a youth-centered social justice group, led the traditional Freedom Walk to Johnson House.

City Councilwoman Helen Gym presented a citation honoring the work of Johnson House over the past decade. Noting the low attendance, she told the few gathered at the stage that the city will commit to making the event more worthy of what it represents.

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