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West Orange Schools Partners with West Orange African Heritage Organization to Recognize Educator Anna Easter Brown at Juneteenth Event

 WEST ORANGE, NJ – The West Orange School District and the West Orange African Heritage Organization will celebrate the first official Juneteenth Holiday in the State of New Jersey on June 19 by partnering to honor Anna Easter Brown, a prominent educator born in the Township. 

Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. It commemorates the anniversary date of the June 19, 1865 announcement by Union Army general Gordon Granger proclaiming freedom from slavery in Texas, two years after the official Emancipation Proclamation. 

On September 17, 2020, NJ Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill recognizing and creating a holiday (Juneteenth) to mark the end of slavery in the United States. 

Born in West Orange in 1879, Brown graduated from West Orange High School in 1897. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Howard University, where she co-founded the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority with nine other women in 1908.  Alpha Chapter exists and thrives to this day, continuing to embody their motto “Service to All Mankind.” 

 Brown went on to complete graduate work at Columbia University and teach high school in North Carolina for nearly 40 years. Anna Easter Brown became a spokeswoman for educational literacy, preservation of Black History, Women’s Rights, and equal rights for African Americans. She served as an educator, writer and community leader for more than three decades. She passed away in 1957. 

Brown will be recognized with a portrait to be hung on the Wall of Honor at West Orange High School, 51 Conforti Ave., in a ceremony in the Library Media Center beginning at 1:00 pm.  Attendance is limited to 60 persons and is by reservation only. To register, click on the link here.

Anna Easter Brown








Cynthia Cumming
June 7, 2021