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Aunt Jane Ward

Aunt Jane Ward,1920. Jane Ward was a leading figure in Huntsville's African American community in the years after emancipation until her death in the early 1930s. She was instrumental in organizing the annual Juneteenth celebrations in the community. After the split of the Union Church, the site of the celebration in the years immediately after emancipation, she organized the festivities at a new site on a hill near the corner of Pleasant Street and Old Madisonville Road. She was also involved in seeing the celebration moved to "Sims Grove" in west Huntsville (the future site of Emancipation Park ,see entry 1) around 1914-1915. To keep up enthusiasm for the event Jane Ward would organize children's parades, like the one seen in this photograph, complete with flags, and march the children through town.