what is juneteenth

What is Juneteenth day and what you can do to celebrate it in Canada

With Juneteenth commemorations taking place this Friday June 19, everyone is about to hear a whole lot more about the landmark occasion, and why it is celebrated annually in the United States. 

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S.

This year's commemerations are expected to be significantly poignant, given recent protests and demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality. 

The day is usually marked with food, parties and gatherings. This year, there will also be further rallies against Black racism held across Canada, the U.S. and around the world.

If you're wondering how you can make the occasion, here are some places that Canadians can visit to commemorate the abolotion of slavery, as well as Black Canadian history. 

Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site

This place in Ontario is where the anti-slavery act was passed into law by the first Parliament of Upper Canada  in 1793. 

Pullman Porter Street

In 2014, the street in Vancouver was renamed to commemorate the role that sleeping car porters played in Black labour history and the history of the railway.

Emily (Emma) Stark’s house

This house at 331 Wesley Street, Nanaimo, B.C. has a plaque that was placed at the site in recognition of Stark, who was the first Black teacher on Vancouver Island. 

Anthony Burns Grave Site

This gave in Victoria Lawn Cemetary can be found in St. Catharines, Ontario. Burns was an escaped slave whose arrest in Boston in 1854 ultimately lead to increased opposition against slavery.

The British Methodist Episcopal (BME) Church

This Toronto church was American abolitionist and political activist Harriet Tubman's last stop on the Underground Rail road. 

The Harry Jerome Sculpture

This sculture can be found in Stanley Park, Vancouver.  Jerome was a Canadian sprinter who won a bronze medal at the 1964 Olympics and set a total of seven world records during his career.

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