Home » Central NJ’s Only African American History Museum to Hold 3rd Annual Juneteenth Celebration

Central NJ’s Only African American History Museum to Hold 3rd Annual Juneteenth Celebration

by Community Contributor

The Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum (SSAAM), Central New Jersey’s only museum sharing the history of African Americans since the trans-Atlantic Slave trade, will hold its third annual Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 15, from 12pm to 4pm (rain or shine). 

This family-friendly event will take place at the National Historic Register-listed Mt. Zion AME Church and historic True Farmstead in Skillman, NJ. Join the SSAAM for live gospel music, original performances, games for kids, and mouthwatering cuisine, including vegan options.

“If you attended SSAAM’s Juneteenth event last year, you’ll certainly recall how amazing it was to celebrate this holiday of African American freedom from enslavement on the grounds of the historically African American-owned, True Farmstead,” said SSAAM Executive Director Donnetta Johnson. The True Farmstead was originally owned by William Reasoner, a Black Civil War veteran. His widow Corinda later married Spencer True, a descendant of an enslaved man named Friday Truehart. In 1780, at age thirteen, Friday Truehart was taken from his mother Dinah in Charleston and brought to New Jersey by his enslaver, the pastor of the Hopewell Old School Baptist Church. He gained his freedom in 1802, at the age of thirty-five.

In the early 1800s, more than 12,000 enslaved people like Friday Truehart lived and labored in New Jersey. SSAAM co-founder Beverly Mills and Board member Patricia True Payne are two of his direct descendants.

“I can’t help but appreciate the importance of recognizing and honoring the suffering, sacrifice and triumph of those enslaved African men, women and children whose skills, expertise and labor built  the wealth of this region and indeed this country,” Johnson said. “It is outstanding that we get to celebrate Jubilee or Juneteenth, a day commemorating freedom, on the very grounds where the Reasoner and True families most certainly appreciated what it meant to be free from bondage as African American landowners in the Sourland region.”

On Saturday, June 15, free shuttle buses will run from the Montgomery High School parking lot to and from the event at SSAAM every 15 minutes, from 11:45 am through 3:15 pm. Limited parking will be available at the True Farmstead for the handicapped, those with limited mobility, event vendors, and performers. All others should take the convenient shuttle buses. 

SSAAM invites all to come together and celebrate this special day of music, art, poetry, fun, and food and join SSAAM in moving Freedom Forward

The SSAAM would like to thank our event sponsors, the Somerset Patriots, Princeton University Art Museum, and Bloomberg Corporation. This event is also made possible by a generous Preserving Black Churches grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as well as many local institutions, businesses, and corporations. We appreciate their generous support in making this event possible.

Adult admission: 
$25 presale online (before May)
$30 online (after May 1st)
$35 at the venue

Children 14 and under: 
$15 presale online (before May)
$20 online (after May 1st)
$25 at the venue

For more information on how to sponsor SSAAM’s Juneteenth “Freedom Forward,” secure a vendor table, and purchase tickets visit https://www.ssaamuseum.org/juneteenth-2024

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