Juneteenth Program: African-American Soldiers in the Civil War

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 6:15 p.m.

DC Public Library invites you to a Juneteenth Celebration program at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library on Tuesday, June 8, 2010, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Dr. Leslie Rowland, Associate Professor at the University of Maryland College Park, will deliver the keynote address. Music will be provided a Washington, D.C. institution, the Sanctuary Choir of the New Bethel Baptist Church.

As you know, Juneteenth is a special occasion. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger entered Galveston, Tex., with 2,000 troops. He issued General Order 3, which is said to have contributed to the freeing of 200,000 slaves, two and half years after President Lincoln's Emancipation decree of January 1, 1863. Each year since June 1865, former Texas slaves and their descendants have celebrated freedom.

Rowland will lecture on "African-American Soldiers in the U.S. Civil War." Her talk will cover the origins of the decision to recruit black soldiers. She will also focus on black soldiers' experiences in the Union army, the significance of their service to themselves, to other African-Americans, and to the nation as a whole. Rowland will use slides with her lecture.

The Sanctuary Choir has performed throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The very talented group is known for its songs of inspiration and encouragement. Dr. Anthony Leach serves as the minister of music and organist. He has gained national recognition as an Associate Professor of Music at Pennsylvania State University. For over 25 years, Leach has performed sacred and secular music from the African-American tradition. He is past national chair of the American Choral Directors Association Repertoire and Standard Committee on Multicultural & Ethnic Perspectives.