Declared a Federal Holiday Thursday Evening, Bedford Observed Juneteenth on Saturday

Dorothy Africa commemorated the first official federal observance of Juneteenth by continuing a tradition she began in 2020—leading the short walk from First Parish on Bedford Common to the African Reservation at Bedford’s Old Burying Ground.

The walkers decorated the graves of Caesar Jones, Caesar Prescott, and Cambridge Moore, Bedford slaves who fought in the American Revolution with bright flowers and American flags.

Bedford’s first METCO Director Irene P. Parker wrote An Ode to Moore, Prescott, and Jones in 1976.

In the Revolutionary Battle of seventeen seventy-five
Caesar Jones, Caesar Prescott, and Cambridge Moore were alive
Fighting for freedom, respect, and honor
Proud Black men who gave their lives with valor.

We know little of Moore, Prescott, and Jones

Their history and lives are interred with their bones
To remember them today is a small token of love
For men who have died and gone home above.

Later on Saturday afternoon, Bedford’s Parents Diversity Council gathered on the Common to share themed crafts and word search puzzles with local children.

Select Board chair Margot Fleischman sang Lift Every Voice and Sing, often known as the ‘Black national anthem.’

As they have for more than a year, Stand for Black Lives volunteers lined The Great Road. They honored the newest Federal holiday and raised the Juneteenth flag on Saturday.

For more than a year, Stand for Black Lives volunteers have stood along The Great Road each Friday afternoon.