Teri Frady, NOAA
508 495-2239


May 31, 2006

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NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center

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Woods Hole Science Institutions Announce Falmouth Juneteenth Events

The Woods Hole Black History Month Committee is pulling out the stops for this year’s June 19 celebration of Juneteenth, the day recognized internationally for commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

This year, the committee has expanded the commemoration to include a lecture in Woods Hole at 12:30 PM by Dr. Jerald Walker, an English professor at Bridgewater State College. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Redfield Auditorium on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution village campus.

The annual Juneteenth social event will be a cookout and other activities, held from 4:30 to 9 PM at the Cape Verdean Club of Falmouth, Inc. at 126 Sandwich Road. As always, everyone is invited, and families are encouraged.

“We wanted to make it easy for more people to come, to make them feel welcome, and to commemorate this important watershed in American life,” said Dr. Ambrose Jearld, long-time committee member and one of the organizers. “We hope the speaker will get people thinking, and that they will come to the social ready to celebrate,” he said.

Often cited as African-American Independence Day, Juneteenth has been deemed a special day of recognition by many municipalities and states. The observances commemorate June 19, 1865, the day the Emancipation Proclamation was finally enforced in Texas, the last of the seceding states to be occupied by the federal army. At the time, an estimated 250,000 persons were still enslaved in Texas, despite the signing of the proclamation more than two years earlier.

Dr. Walker holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, as well as a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Iowa. He has won numerous awards for his writing and scholarly achievements. This presentation will include a reading from Walker’s essay collection-in-progress, Notes from the Promised Land, and a discussion of how his essays relate to Juneteenth, and to Ralph Ellison’s posthumously published novel of the same name.

There is no entry fee for the celebration at the Cape Verdean Club, but donations of food, time, or other resources are accepted. For more information, contact: Ambrose Jearld, NEFSC at 508-495-2318 or Steven A. Peters, MBL at 508-289-7423.

The Black History Month Committee comprises members from six scientific institutions in Woods Hole (Marine Biological Laboratory, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole Research Center, and USGS Science Center for Coastal and Marine Geology). The committee organizes special events during March for Black History Month, and throughout the year to promote diversity in the institutions and the local community. Visit the committee on the web at:

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