The Lee County Black History Society plans a program “The Women of 1865 and Thereafter” from 3 to 6 p.m. May 20 at Roberto Clemente Park, 1936 Henderson Ave., Fort Myers. The program will be in a tent at the park and is free to the public with advanced registration.
Guests will hear from speakers and presenters about Florida’s civil rights activists during and following Florida’s Emancipation. Special entertainment will be provided by Karlus Trapp, who will provide a special performance of “The Roots of Black Music in America,” a musical journey through time that includes spirituals, Louie Armstrong classics, Scott Joplin’s Ragtime favorites, energetic jazz from Cab Calloway and calypso folk from Harry Belafonte.
Catering for the special event, where ladies are encouraged to wear sundresses and “brims” is by Chelle’s Special Touch Catering.
Emcees for the event are Stephanie Stephens of Simply Step and Nikijha Lynch from Fly 98.5 radio.
Emancipation from slavery was proclaimed in Tallahassee on May 20, 1865, 11 days after the end of the Civil War, and two years after the Proclamation first issued by President Abraham Lincoln freed those enslaved in southern states. The event leads up to Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States and a federal holiday.
“The national holiday for the end to slavery in the United States is Juneteenth,” said Charles Barnes, chairperson of the society. “But also important, especially to our significant local Black history, is Emancipation Day, where we celebrate the end of slavery to Florida.”
For reservations, visit leecountyblackhistorysociety.org/rsvp-womens-event/.
About Lee County Black History Society
The Lee County Black History Society, Inc. (LCBHS), a nonprofit organization, was founded in 1994 by Janice Cass. The LCBHS, Inc. is comprised of an 11-member Board of Directors which meets on the second Tuesday of each month. The meeting is open to the public. The LCBHS provides a way for African Americans in Lee County to recognize and celebrate Black History Month, as well as create and maintain the Williams Academy Black History Museum. Black History Month, the Florida Emancipation Day celebration event, Juneteenth and Holiday in the Park are events presented each year by LCBHS through partnerships with other community-based organizations, churches and private citizens. For information, visit LeeCountyBlackHistorySociety.org or call 239-332-8778.