From Hosanna School Museum:
As part of its 150th anniversary, Hosanna School Museum held a Juneteenth celebration festival on Saturday, June 17.
Juneteenth is a nationally recognized day that commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States and celebrates African American history and culture.
More than 500 visitors attended Saturday's celebration at Hosanna.
Among the day's highlights were standing-room only living history presentations by re-enactors Brittany Martin portraying Edmonia Highgate, the first teacher at Hosanna, and Janice Curtis Greene, who portrayed Harriet Tubman, a former slave and abolitionist. A group of Buffalo Soldiersre-enactors was part of the festivities.
Another popular activity was visitors participating in African dance with Urban Foli Djembe Orchestra Performing Arts Group and fitness fun with TLK Zumba.
The day also featured craft vendors, special activities for children, food trucks and a gift shop.
Hosanna School Museum partnered on the celebration with the Iota Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., which has hosted Juneteenth celebrations for several years in Harford County. Harford County Office of Economic Development and Havre de Grace Rotary were also sponsors of the event.
"Our first Juneteenth celebration was awesome," Iris Leigh Barnes, executive director of Hosanna School Museum, said in a statement. "The number of visitors exceeded our expectations. They encouraged us to hold a Juneteenth celebration next year. We are so gratified by the community's response."
Hosanna School Museum was the first of three Freedmen's Bureau schoolhouses in Harford County. Also known as the Darlington School or Berkley School, Hosanna was built on land owned by James Paca, the son of Cupid Paca, a free African American who bought 50 acres of land from Berkley to Darlington.
Today, Hosanna is a living schoolhouse museum, attracting visitors from all over the country. The building is also used for community meetings and events.
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States dating back to 1865. Today, Juneteenth celebrates African American freedom and achievement while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures.
Community members and businesses interested in helping to preservehistory and educate generations to come about the history and culture of Harford County, through the lens of African Americans, are encouraged to make a donation through the website at hosannaschoolmuseum.org or by sending a check (made payable to Hosanna Community House, Incorporated) to P.O. Box 305, Darlington, Md. 21034.