Liberation Day set July 13

Published 5:00 pm Friday, July 5, 2024

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RICH SQUARE – Northampton County’s first Liberation Day Celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 13 on the grounds of Rich Square Creecy Community Center, 210 Roberts Road, Rich Square.

The event is a local celebration of freedom for enslaved people after the end of the Civil War.

Northampton County’s Board of Commissioners first approved Liberation Day as a county holiday in August 2020.

Things will kick off with a parade at 10 a.m. beginning at the former Mylcraft facility and ending at the Creecy Community Center.

The parade will honor “Our Golden Jewels” of the community: Corol Bell Ward (age 93), Grace P. Powell (94), Geneva P. Branch (95), Dorothy Mae Tann (97), and Janie H. Grant (105).

A tribute ceremony about the history of Liberation Day will be held at 11 a.m. The keynote speaker will be Arthur C. Grant, Jr., a native of Rich Square. He is the son of Arthur, Sr. and Symera Grant.

Grant graduated from Northampton County High School East in 1991. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army and retired after 22 years of honorable service. He participated in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, receiving the Bronze Star medal and Purple Heart.

Currently, Grant lives in Blythewood, SC, and works as a Supervisory Legal Administrative Specialist within the Federal Government. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management from Limestone College and a Professional Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University. He published his first book in 2017.

Grant takes pride in his Northampton County roots, and researches county history. In August 2020, he proposed to the Northampton County Board of Commissioners to make July 10 a county holiday, in recognition of enslaved people in the county who were freed on that date in 1865.

The Liberation Day celebration will feature a variety of vendors, including food trucks, as well as activities and games for all ages.