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Friday, May 29, 2020
 
 
On August 1st, 1834 the government of Upper Canada formally enacted the Emancipation Proclamation. This proclamation freed slaves in Canada sparking great celebration and encouraging thousands to escape slavery in America and follow the North Star to freedom in Canada.
     
Courtesy Article Windsor Star July 20, 1991
Pictured is the Emancipation Day Parade in Amherstburg in the 1890’s. Amherstburg was one of the first communities to present celebrations. Windsor's Emancipation Day celebrations were eventually moved to back to Amherstburg. Courtesy article Windsor Star July 20, 1991.
 
Courtesy of the Windsor Star, July 21, 1965
In 1932 Walter Perry launched “The Greatest Freedom Show on Earth” in Windsor. Walter Perry and Garry Eaton promote celebration, Courtesy of the Windsor Star, July 21, 1965.
     
Courtesy of the Windsor
                Star, July 31, 1950
The Emancipation Day Celebrations drew tens of thousands of Canadians and Americans to Windsor’s Jackson park. Celebrants pack the grandstand at Jackson Park, Courtesy of the Windsor Star, July 31, 1950.
     
Courtesy of the Windsor Star,
                April 24, 1964
Including such illustrious guests as activist Mary McLeod Bethune, actress Dorothy Dandridge. Dr. & Mrs. Roy Perry host Dorothy Dandridge, Courtesy of the Windsor Star, April 24, 1964.
     
Courtesy of the Windsor Star,
                August 7, 1956
And a young Rev. Martin Luther King pictured here with Russel Small, President of the Emancipation Committee, Rev. Theodore S Boone of Detroit and Walter Perry. Courtesy of the Windsor Star, August 7, 1956.
     
Those in attendance enjoyed 4 days of fun including including the midway, talent shows, sporting events, Sunday sunrise services, gospel choirs, musical concerts with top artists such as Diana Ross and the Supremes and Stevie Wonder and
 
The Emanipation Day Parade
Miss International Sepia Pageants
Fabulous Feasts
     
Emancipation Day Organizer Edmund (Ted) Powell (Windsor Star 13/05/1971)
 
National Guardsmen during Detroit Riots 1967 (Courtesy of Wayne State University)
 
Miss Sepia 1977 with Edmund Powell (Windsor Star 2/08/1977)

Emancipation Day Organizer Edmund (Ted) Powell (Windsor Star 13/05/1971)

 
National Guardsmen during Detroit Riots 1967 (Courtesy of Wayne State University)
 
Miss Sepia 1977 with Edmund Powell (Windsor Star 2/08/1977)
Walter Perry passed away in 1967. Mr Edmund (Ted) Powell assumed responsibility for organizing Emancipation Day celebrations. Following the riots in Detroit in 1967 the Emanicipation Celebration was cancelled due to security concerns. In 1969 the festivities resumed. Controversy erupted over the City of Windsor’s decision to move the festival to Mic Mac Park in 1977. Ted Powell was dismayed when attendance dropped from around 30,000 to 16,000 that year. The celebration was eventually relocated to Amherstburg.
     
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The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.

 

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