Skip to main content

Juneteenth on the Water

The museum’s Juneteenth celebration, now in its third year, is a true cultural immersion

The museum’s Juneteenth celebration, now in its third year, is a true cultural immersion

Discovering Amistad and Mystic Seaport Museum have partnered to organize their third annual Juneteenth festival, featuring concerts, speakers and a reflection on the lasting legacy of racial injustice in America. Declared a National Holiday in 2021, Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the United States, commemorating the day news that the Civil War was over and that enslaved people were free reached Galveston, Texas.

Mystic Seaport Museum has an ideal partner for hosting the event in Discovering Amistad, an organization that manages the replica of the Amistad, a 19th century two-masted schooner. In 1839, the schooner was used to transport 53 Mende people (from modern-day Sierra Leone) who were being trafficked into slavery in Cuba. After being sold to Spanish plantation owners, the Mende people fought back and took control of the ship. After doing so they commanded the ship’s crew to bring them back to Africa, but the Spanish sailors brought the ship into American waters instead, hoping to be intercepted. They made it as far as Long Island before being brought to shore in New London, Connecticut, sparking a legal battle over property claims and illegal slavery (treaties against the transatlantic slave trade were in place at the time). The case gained international attention and made it all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the Mende and restored their freedom. The case became a symbol of hope for American abolitionists in the decades preceding the Civil War. Since its creation in 2015, Discovering Amistad has maintained the replica of the Amistad, which in addition to being Connecticut’s flagship serves as a floating classroom, educating visitors about history and racial and social justice.

The Juneteenth program of events will kick off with an opening ceremony featuring a West African drum call, introductory remarks from both Mystic Seaport Museum and Discovering Amistad, and a selection of musical performances. A panel moderated by Troy Brown will discuss the legacy of slavery and “illuminate how the thread of the past is woven into the fabric of the present.” A Harambee (Swahili for “all pull together”) reflection ceremony will offer visitors a chance to share in the commitment to combating racism and will include another musical performance. Tours of the Amistad replica and a concert featuring Cape Verdean performers will follow. Throughout the day, there will also be food trucks and arts programming. The free event will begin at 1500 on June 19th at the Museum.

For more information, visit

Photos courtesy of Discovering Amistad/Caryn B. Davis

June 2022



Close Encounters: A Star to Steer By

I first met Steve and Irene Macek in the proper way—in an anchorage full of bluewater cruising boats. This was in St. Georges, Bermuda, in the spring of 2019. Theirs, without doubt, was the most distinctive boat there—an immaculate, three-masted, double-ended Marco Polo schooner more


The Ocean Race Leg 2 Kicks Off

After a trial by fire start to the race and only a brief stop for limited fixes, the five IMOCA 60 crews in The Ocean Race set off for Cape Town, South Africa, early on January 25. Despite arriving somewhat battered in Cabo Verde, an African island nation west of Senegal, the more


Cruising: Smitten with a Wooden Boat

I was sailing down the inner channel of Marina del Rey under a beautiful red sunset when Nills, one of the crew members on my boat, pointed out an unusual and unique-looking 40-foot gaff-rigged wooden cutter tied to the end of a dock. Its classic appearance was a stark contrast more


Racing Recap: Leg One of The Ocean Race

New to spectating The Ocean Race? Managing Editor Lydia Mullan breaks down everything you need to know to get started. more


From the Editor: Keeping the Hands in Hands-On

SAIL Editor-in-Chief Wendy Mitman Clarke enjoys a sunny autumn cruise in her Peterson 34 on the Chesapeake Bay. It was late afternoon just after the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis when I climbed aboard the last boat on the schedule. I and others who review and sail boats for more


B&G Announces New Zeus S Chartplotter

B&G has long been putting out top-of-the-line electronics, but the new Zeus S Chartplotter is a new take on the best way to give sailors the exact information they need, when they need it. “So many more people sail shorthanded these days, whether as a couple or when they’re more


Charter: Mission to Mars

In the wake of the pandemic, many sailors are seeking adventure and grabbing onto a vision of their best lives. For some, that may mean sailing across the Atlantic with the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) while for others, it could be a yacht charter in the Caribbean. The more


The Ocean Race: And They're Off!

Even with—and sometimes because of—recent changes to the format, The Ocean Race is still the heart and soul of offshore racing, in my opinion. You could certainly make a case for the intensity of solo sailors lapping the planet in the Vendée Globe, but there's something more