In collaboration with the Human Rights Commission, The Town of Mansfield's Town Council has issued a Proclamation to celebrate Juneteenth, June 19, 2022 in Mansfield.
Please join the Human Rights Commission at the unveiling ceremony for the Witness Stone honoring Titus, an enslaved man who lived in Mansfield in the late 1700s. The ceremony by the Mansfield Middle School grade 8 students who completed this research is Monday, June 13 at 4:45 PM at the Mansfield Public Library. Please support our young students at this important ceremony (will be held outdoors, so please bring your own chair.)
Learn more about the Witness Stones Project at Mansfield Middle School and see the students' work. https://sites.google.com/mansfieldct.org/mmswitnessstoneexhibits2022/
And explore Juneteenth festivities in our state! From New London to New Britain, celebrations are everywhere in the coming week. Here are just a few.
Download the Juneteenth poster illustrated by Mansfield Middle School student Rain Zhang (shown below).
Download the Juneteenth poster illustrated by Mansfield Middle School student Elvin Choi (illustration above).
The Human Rights Commission has created posters that can be displayed around the community and shared online to inform the community about Juneteenth. These posters feature artwork by two Mansfield Middle School students, Rain Zhang and Elvin Choi, created as part of the Witness Stone Project. This message is excerpted from these posters.
Have you ever heard of “Juneteenth”? Juneteenth commemorates the date June 19, 1865 when enslaved persons in Texas learned that slavery was over and they were free.
Slavery was abolished on September 22, 1862 when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing “all slaves in states still engaged in rebellion against the Union.” This was a complicated proclamation: Lincoln freed enslaved persons in territories that considered themselves a part of the Confederacy.
Technically, he had no right to do this, but he did it anyway. The 13th amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted on December 18, 1865, officially ended “slavery and peonage” for all persons in the United States.
Despite the continuing inequities in the circumstances of many African Americans in the U.S., Juneteenth is a very important celebration of a huge step in the liberation of a formerly enslaved people. Connecticut’s legislature declared Juneteenth a state holiday this spring, and Mansfield’s Town Council recognized it in 2021.
Today’s celebrations often include the culture and history of the ancestors who were enslaved and are gratefully remembered by their descendants.
Mansfield is celebrating Juneteenth with the unveiling of The Witness Stone commemorating the life of Titus, an enslaved person who lived in Mansfield in the late 1700s. The Witness Stone will be placed at 5 PM on June 13 at the Mansfield Public Library. All are welcome to attend this ceremony and to honor Titus and the Mansfield Middle School eighth grade students who have so carefully researched his story in our town.
In Hartford, celebrations will include African food, clothing, music and dance, and other cultural experiences. This year’s celebration in Hartford is Saturday, June 18.
Copy by H. Jane Fried, Vice-Chair of the Mansfield Human Rights Commission. Thanks to Dr. Carlita Cotton of Mansfield and Dr. Chyna Wilson, Equity and Civil Rights Compliance Specialist for the State of Maryland