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Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, and commemorates the day in 1865 when the abolition of slavery reached the deepest parts of the former Confederacy in Texas. The Museum digitally marked the 155th anniversary in 2020 with actress and historical interpreter Nastassia Parker for a special performance of her one-woman theatrical piece, “Freedom on the Horizon.”

In this 20-minute performance, she portrays Ona Judge, an enslaved woman who ran away from George and Martha Washington’s household in Philadelphia.

"Freedom on the Horizon" Performed by Nastassia Parker from AmRevMuseum on Vimeo.

Parker has been a historical character interpreter and reenactor since age 9. More recently, she has served as a museum program consultant and portrayed famous and little-known figures of African American history, such as Ona Judge and Jemima Banneker, in one-woman shows and museum programming. She has performed at institutions including the Museum of the American Revolution, the New-York Historical Society, Kent Island Library, Historic London Town and Gardens, and the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum.

Interested in learning more about the life of Ona Judge? Read an excerpt of Dr. Erica Armstrong Dunbar's recent book, Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, as well as the young reader's edition that Dr. Armstrong Dunbar adapted with Kathleen Van Cleve, Never Caught: The Story of Ona Judge. Both books are available for purchase through the Museum Shop.

Parker's performance of "Freedom on the Horizon" was released as part of the Museum's commemoration of the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, which included a digital discovery cart on Harry Washington as well as a mini lesson plan on Lord Dunmore's Proclamation.

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Image 10142020 Harrywashingtonobjects Hwashingtondiscoverycart
 

Harry Washington Discovery Cart

Explore replica objects related to the life of Harry Washington, who was enslaved by the Washingtons and found freedom through service in the British army.
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 Rtr Never Caught The Washingtons Relentless Pursuit Of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge
 

Never Caught

This excerpt from Erica Armstrong Dunbar examines the growth of anti-slavery sentiment in Philadelphia during the 1780s and 1790s
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Image 102820 16x9 Transparent Rtr Never Caught Young Readers Dunbar Armstrong
 

Never Caught

Read an excerpt from Dr. Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Kathleen Van Cleve's young reader adaptation of the story of runaway slave Ona Judge.
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