Images of monument and black patriots with text

UPDATED at 11 p.m. June 19: All are invited to the outdoor public observance of the federal Juneteenth holiday, scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 23. It actually is designed is to be a triple celebration: of the Black patriots of Menotomy, Juneteenth and Prince Hall Day (which has its own celebration the next evening). It is to be on the Whittemore-Robbins House lawn, near 670R Mass. Ave., behind the Robbins Library.

"Attendees will be encouraged to explore the legacy of Black patriotism by learning about key figures like Prince Hall, Cuff Whittemore and David Lamson,who were pivotal in key battles in the Revolutionary War and the advancement of people of color in the region," a news release said. With a poetry reading by Charles Coe, a food truck and DJs, this is a free event open to all ages provided through a joint effort of the town's Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Arlington 250 and Arts Arlington. Learn more here >> 

 Coe is a poet, prose writer, writing teacher and musician, a second town news release said. His books include “All Sins Forgiven: Poems for my Parents” and “Picnic on the Moon,” both published by Leapfrog Press, as well as “Spin Cycles,” a novella published by Gemma Media. Coe received a fellowship in poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and was selected by the Associates of the Boston Public Library as a Boston Literary Light in 2014.

“ I am excited that the stories of these Black patriots are being uplifted and shared with the community, because often voices of color and their stories can get lost in history,” said Jillian Harvey, the town’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion, in the recent release.

"Arlington is committed to creating the largest, most broadly inclusive commemoration [next year] of the semiquincentennial possible," said Stewart Ikeda, co-chair of Arts Arlington and Arlington 250 member. "This year's recognition and celebration of Black patriots and Juneteenth as an Arlington 250 signature event is just one way we're elevating the 'untold stories' of our town's history, including its people of color, right back to the very first day of the [American] revolution [in 1775] and well before that."


This announcement was published June 17, 2024, based on emails from the Town of Arlington. It was updated late in the evening of June 19 to correct the event's date (it is set for Sunday, June 23) and to add additional quotes and information from town sources.

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