Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C. – White House Historical Association

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(http://dchistory.org/d-c-history-moments-nmaahc-historical-society-attends-behind-scenes-preview/)

Organized by the black elite of the city, the parades began in 1866 as a demonstration of African-American pride and political strength. School children often took a day off in order to watch all the black civic organizations and clubs march in the parade. Militia groups and Civil War veterans marched in full regalia with slogans on banners that called for liberty and equality for all citizens. 1

 Rain or shine the emancipation parades went on, all throughout the city in stark contrast to the black codes of the antebellum era, which restricted the movement of African Americans throughout the city. Where slave coffles had once passed, free African Americans now marched openly rejoicing their new status as citizens. Source: Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C. – White House Historical Association