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June 11, 2002

Black History celebration in Folsom

A local Juneteenth event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, June 15 at the Negro Bar State Park in Folsom. Juneteenth is an African American tradition and celebration of freedom.

Through exhibits, music, poetry and speakers who emphasize the pivotal role that African Americans played in the state's anti-slavery and abolitionist movements, Juneteenth illuminates the often overlooked link between the Underground Railroad and the history of African Americans in the Sacramento Region.

"One of the largest black Gold Rush communities in the region was located at Negro Bar in Folsom," says Joe Moore, Juneteenth project director. "While the initial African American presence at Negro Bar was not lengthy, it has the distinction of being the site where gold was first discovered in Northern California by African Americans in 1849."

Moore is organizing the event along with his wife, California State University, Sacramento history professor Shirley Ann Wilson Moore. The local program is a celebration of African American pioneers of the Gold Rush era and the contributions they made to the development of the Sacramento Region.

"The Negro Bar area is important because the black struggle for freedom in California and the United States emerged here as evidenced by acts of violence against blacks, several notable fugitive cases and the significance of African Americans to the early economic and social development of the region," says Moore.

The Juneteenth event takes its name from the historic celebration that took place when the news of emancipation finally reached African Americans in Texas in June of 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. Juneteenth celebrations are held throughout the country to commemorate the event.

Juneteenth is a free event and will include activities such as an open mic for poets, a Buffalo Soldier presentation, historical lectures, gold-mining camp replications and more.
Participants are encouraged to bring their own picnic lunches and portable BBQ grills. Soft drinks will be provided but no alcohol or glass containers are permitted in the park.

For more information about the Juneteenth event call (916) 278-5469. Media assistance is available by contacting the CSUS public affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

Directions: From Sacramento take Highway 50 east to Folsom. Exit Folsom Blvd. and turn left. Proceed approximately three miles to Greenback Road and turn left and there is a sign marking the entrance to Negro Bar on the left.


For further information, send an e-mail to or contact
public affairs at (916) 278-6156. For ticketed events, call the CSUS Ticket Office at (916) 278-4323.   

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