Honoring Juneteenth

Photo credit Jerome McDonnell/WBEZ: A view of a section of the African American Heritage Water Trail from Whistler Woods Forest Preserve. WBEZ radio profiled the heritage water trial in a story last year. 

In recognition of Juneteenth, a holiday dedicated to the end of slavery and to commemorate the freeing of enslaved African Americans in Texas on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation; we join in honoring this important day in our nation’s history as a catalyst for racial equality and social justice. Educating ourselves on the African American history of our region is one meaningful way to pay tribute to Juneteenth. The African American Heritage Water Trail, developed by Openlands and partner organizations, honors this history by memorializing the remarkable stories of African Americans who established vibrant communities along the Little Calumet River. The water trail begins at Beaubien Woods and promotes the exploration of 29 significant African American sites along the river and inland between Beaubien Woods, one of our Inside, Out & About sites, and Robbins, Ill. We encourage you to experience the historic water trail and to spread the word to others.