© 2022 All Rights reserved WUSF
News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Local / State

Emancipation Day in Florida is celebrated again with traditional reenactment

 Newly appointed Secretary of State Cord Byrd was among the speakers at the Emancipation Day event
Tom Flanigan
/
Newly appointed Secretary of State Cord Byrd was among the speakers at the Emancipation Day event

One-hundred fifty-seven years ago, a speech in Tallahassee delivered freedom to Florida’s enslaved people. That scene was reenacted on Friday, May 20 as part of Florida’s Emancipation Day festivities.

Greater St. Marks Primitive Baptist Church Elder Chris Burney led the hundreds of attendees in song.

(“Amazing Grace” singing)

The event was the first public appearance for Florida’s new Secretary of State Cord Byrd. Governor Ron DeSantis has named him to the job the previous Tuesday, after Laurel Lee resigned to run for congress.

“I want to welcome everyone and thank you for joining us for this 20th of May celebration, Emancipation in Florida,” he said by way of greeting the crowd.

There were many more speeches, all leading up to the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation from the steps of Tallahassee’s Knott House. The very location the document was read in Florida for the first time in 1865.

Copyright 2022 WFSU. To see more, visit WFSU.

WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.