In observance of Juneteenth, Consul General Rodger Cuzner and the Consulate General of Canada in Boston will hold its second Juneteenth Wreath-Laying Ceremony on Saturday, June 19, at 9:30am at the Harriet Tubman Memorial in the South End (Columbus and West Newton).
The Consulate will honor Harriett Tubman who helped free more than 300 Black slaves from 1850-1860, making 19 trips to the American South, leading many to freedom in Canada. Those she led to Canada created many of today’s Black communities in Southern Ontario, notably St. Catharines, Ontario.
Tubman was a frequent visitor to Boston, often visiting the city to raise money and advance the cause of emancipation. The City erected a memorial to Tubman in 1999 in Boston’s South End/Lower Roxbury, which had long been a center of African-American culture. This memorial represents the first statue of a woman, erected on publically-owned land in the City of Boston.
It is the Consulate’s hope to continue the wreath-laying ceremony as a tradition and become more involved with the community in the South End. With the memorial itself making mention of Canada as the final destination for many escaped slaves and the Consulate office only a 10- minute walk away, it is a connection the Consulate would like to renew and embrace.
A short program will be held with several speakers including Chairperson of the Friends of Harriet Tubman Park, Ms. Frieda Garcia who will be providing welcoming remarks.