On June 19, 2022, Historic Deerfield will present an evening of music and history titled “Songs of Abolition: A Juneteenth Concert Celebration at Historic Deerfield.”
The concert will include early gospel tunes, music from a new documentary film titled "Songs of Slavery and Emancipation", songs of the Hutchinson Family (19th century abolitionists who performed locally), and Pioneer Valley shapenote music. Performer and musicologist Tim Eriksen will be the emcee for the evening.
Juneteenth celebrates the day in 1865 when the last enslaved Americans in Texas learned of their emancipation under the law, if not always in practice. Over time it has become a national, even international, celebration of African American culture and history, and the drive to freedom.
In its first public celebration of the holiday, Historic Deerfield presents a program rooted in local history, the lost soundtrack of 19th-century abolitionism, and the joy and determination expressed in a wide range of music appropriate to the occasion.