On June 19, 2022, a bit of Ohio history will come to life. People will walk a portion of the Underground Railroad in southwest Ohio. The non-profit group, Daughters of the Underground, will lead the public walk to commemorate Juneteenth. The 10-mile route runs from Wilberforce to Yellow Springs. African Americans recognize Juneteenth as the day when this nation’s last group of slaves in Texas finally learned they were emancipated. It was June 19th, 1865—two years after the Civil War ended.
Members of Project 365 will welcome walkers into Yellow Springs for a Juneteenth celebration. Register online at bit.ly/yswalk2022.
Jennifer Bailey is a member of this non-profit. She says growing up outside of Dayton, she didn’t learn about the Ohio Underground. In the wake of the mass shootings in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX—Bailey hopes people will share their grief to heal.
"We heal collectively and there’s so much work to be done," explains Bailey. "I hope the people who come on this walk with us are able to find a place to put their energy for good."
Kimberly Smith is also a member of Daughters of the Underground. She says growing up outside of Cleveland, she didn’t learn about the Ohio Underground. Smith hopes this walk will illuminate the vital role Ohioans played in helping enslaved people gain freedom.
"We knew we wanted to walk in the footsteps so we can draw attention and make sure folks know, this history is alive--it’s not in the past, it’s now," insists Smith.
The walk will begin at 8 a.m. on June 19th--outside of the National Afro American Museum and Cultural Center—it’s on the main campus of Central State University in Wilberforce.
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