Juneteenth is being celebrated at Seneca Village in Central Park on June 19 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event will include performances by world-renowned artists as they interpret the history and significance of Juneteenth and Seneca Village through dance, poetry, music, storytelling and art activities.
During the first half of the 19th century, Central Park near the West 85th Street entrance was home to Seneca Village—a community of predominantly African-Americans, many of whom owned property.
The village existed between 1825 and 1857. In 1855 there were approximately 225 residents, a population that consisted of roughly two-thirds African-Americans, one-third Irish immigrants, and a small number of Germans. There were over 50 homes in Seneca Village, plus three churches and a school.
For African-American property owners, Seneca Village provided residential stability and an investment in the future. Another incentive to owning property at the time was that it gave African-Americans the right to vote.