Community

D.C. Statehood Buttressed on Emancipation Day

The quest to make the District the 51st state of the Union defined the virtual 2021 Emancipation Day activities that took place close to and on April 16.

District residents celebrated President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the D.C. Compensated Emancipation Act, which freed approximately 2,989 African Americans in the city on April 16, 1862, during the Civil War. The Lincoln administration offered slave owners up to $3,000 for their former slaves and the emancipated Blacks received offers of $100 to leave the U.S.

As a result of the law, the District became the only state-level jurisdiction to free its slaves with compensation for their owners. Nine months later, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation which declared slaves to be free in the Confederate states.

The 2021 celebration took place two days after the House Oversight and Reform Committee passed “The Washington, D.C. Admission Act of 2021,” which would if enacted make the District the 51st state. Many of the activities, whether virtual or in-person, stressed the need for District residents to be represented in the U.S. Congress like other citizens and for the city to have full autonomy over its budget and local legislation.

On April 15, faith leaders from around the country discussed the importance of statehood in a virtual discussion orchestrated by the Rev. Donald Isaac. Isaac also led dozens of city faith leaders at a clergy rally for statehood which happened at the National City Christian Church in Northwest on April 16.

Later that day, a virtual program on the role District resident Loretta Carter Hanes played in making Emancipation Day a holiday was created with entrepreneur Ayo Handy-Kendi highlighting key events in the District’s founding and Black history and Anise Jenkins, executive director of Stand Up! for Democracy, speaking about Hanes. The video documentary, “Becoming the Douglass Commonwealth,” aired on WUSA-TV (Channel 9).

The District government’s cable channel focused on the history of the District and its prospects for statehood with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), acting D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III and Washington Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes.

An Emancipation Day concert at the Secret Garden in Anacostia in Southeast took was held with performances by The Experience Band, the Soul Searchers and The Backyard Band.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Select list(s) to subscribe to


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker