In 1833, the British Parliament pushed by William Wilberforce passed an act banning slavery (Slavery Abolition Act of 1833). It took full effect at midnight
of July 31st, 1834. As of August 1st 1834, all slaves in the British Empire were emancipated, but still indentured to their former
owners in an apprenticeship system which was finally abolished in 1838.
Along with colorful parades, concerts, talent shows, pageants, family reunion picnics and community barbecues, Emancipation Festival drew the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. George Washington Carver, Jesse Owens, Joe Louis, Eleanor Roosevelt and
many other world renowned dignitaries annually to appear as guest speakers or simply to join the revelry.
Following the riots in Detroit in 1967 the festival was canceled due to security concerns. In 1969 the festivities resumed.
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr pictured here with Russel Small, President of the Emancipation Committee, Rev. Theodore S Boone of Detroit and Walter Perry. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a guest speaker at
the Annual Emancipation Day Festival.
Courtesy of the Windsor Star, August 7, 1956.
William Wilberforce led the twenty-year fight to end the British slave trade.
Wilberforce died just three days after hearing that the passage of the Slavery Abolition Act through Parliament was assured.
Windsor Emancipation Celebration Corporation is a non profit organization committed to uniting people of all cultural backgrounds by providing education and awareness
to our community regarding the historic importance, vast heritage and cultural significance of the 1833 Emancipation proclamation that made Canada the final stop on
the Underground Railroad to Freedom.
To fulfill our Mission we:
Provide opportunities for expression.
Bring people together from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.
Provide opportunities for artistic & cultural stimulation and growth.
Enhance our projects by using technology.
Utilise the talents of those willing to contribute.
Learn from the past, focus on the present and plan for the future.
Document every initiative.
Create solutions that are creative, thorough and collaborative.
Our Vision is to be "The Greatest Freedom Show on Earth". We will accomplish our Vision through our commitment to strategic growth, outstanding service, and community involvement.