This project maps every documented instance of Emancipation Day celebrations in 19th and early 20th century North Carolina. These celebrations occurred on a massive and broad scale. Planned for virtually every African American community in the state, individual cities often hosted thousands of visitors from the surrounding area. Emancipation Day parades were the single most important expression of Black celebratory public culture at the end of the 19th century.
This map is the first comprehensive portrait of the practice in any state. It illustrates both the extent of the celebrations, and the types of spaces they occurred in.