Emancipation celebrations in early 20th Century South Carolina

I always seem to find startling historical snippets involving my family on Newspapers.com while searching for something entirely different. This find wasn’t anything different. I had no idea there had been a tradition of emancipation celebrations in the former southern slaveholding states.

I stumbled across this Edgefield Advertiser newspaper article (26 March 1919) while doing some intensive research on my VA, NC, and SC Strother kin.

All of the men listed were either my direct ancestors or ancestral kinsmen.

Considering the two brutal black voter suppression riots that occurred in the area two decades before (the Parksville Riot and the Phoenix Riot) – with the accompanying politically motivated lynchings – it came as something of a surprise that Emancipation celebrations were being reported in such favorable terms by the local press.

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