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Diverse library dedicated at Juneteenth celebration

Updated: Jul 7

By: Brendan Cassidy - June 20, 2024

MATTAPOISETT — On a day where temperatures reached nearly 90 degrees, members of the Tri-Town Against Racism community braved the heat to celebrate Juneteenth in the park under Ned’s Point Lighthouse.

A free diverse library in the park was dedicated to late Mattapoisett resident Abraham Skidmore at the celebration.

Attendees listened to speakers, shared snacks and refreshments and flipped through books that were set to be placed in the library.

Jessica Decicco-Carey informed attendees about the life of Abraham Skidmore.

According to Decicco-Carey, Skidmore moved to Mattapoisett in 1899 at the age of 21 and served as the only barber in the town for 55 years.

“Abraham was a soft-spoken man with a big personality,” said Decicco-Carey. “He could talk for hours with anyone sitting in his [barber] chair.”

Decicco-Carey also credited Skidmore with starting the tradition of the Mattapoisett Halloween Parade, which is still held each year.

“Today we dedicate the little free diverse library in Abraham’s name to honor him and his legacy in Mattapoisett,” said Decicco-Carey. “It is a shame that 70 years after his death, this is the first thing dedicated to his memory in the town of Mattapoisett.”

“We gather today to commemorate Juneteenth, a pivotal moment in American history,” said John Excellent, one of the speakers at the event.

Excellent explained that Juneteenth honors the freeing of slaves in Texas that were not aware of the Emancipation Proclamation for over two years.

“Juneteeenth is a celebration of freedom, a celebration of strength and a reminder that the fight against injustice and inequality continues,” said Excellent.

Tri-Town Against Racism President Alison Noyce said she was proud of the organization and the Tri-Town community for its support of the event.

“We knew we wanted to do something for Juneteenth,” said Noyce. “People in the community now look to us for events and we absolutely love that.”

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