Max Smith will be presenting Emancipation!, the story of Emancipation Day in Peterboro, in songs and words at Oneida Library June 14 at 7 p.m.
Oneida Public Library News
(Oneida, NY – June 2012) In songs, words and pictures, Max Smith will present Emancipation!, the story of Emancipation Day celebrations in Peterboro at the Oneida Public Library Thursday June 14 at 7 p.m.
Smith, currently a city councilman in Oneida, is a descendent of 19th-century black settlers in Peterboro and has long maintained family ties there.
Emancipation Day, which commemorates the complete emancipation of American black slaves at the end of the Civil War, had particular significance in Peterboro, the home of the Abolitionist and champion of escaped slaves, Gerrit Smith. The observance of Emancipation Day, whose date varies according to state and region, fell into decline, but it has been recently revived, as in Washington, D.C., which celebrates the day on April 16.
With his remarkable baritone voice, Smith has performed frequently in and around Madison County. He is often a featured singer at the National Abolition Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, community organizations’ events and readers theater productions, such as the OPL Players’ most recent production of “Christmas by Injunction” last December at the Oneida Community Mansion House. He has also served as cantor at St. Agatha’s Church, Canastota.
The program is free and open to the public. For more information, stop by the Oneida Library, 220 Broad St., or call 363-3050.