Juneteenth: "Freedom on the Horizon" Performed by Nastassia ParkerJune 19, 2020
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 is digitally marking the 155th anniversary this year 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.
Watch Parker's performance as well as a Q&A with her about the play, Ona Judge, and her work.
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" is part of the Museum's commemoration of the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, which includes a digital discovery cart on Harry Washington as well as a mini lesson plan on Lord Dunmore's Proclamation.