What are Watch Parties?
Origin of “Watch Parties”
On New Year’s Eve 1862 abolitionists and slaves anxiously waited in churches throughout the nation at “Watch Parties” (also known as “Watch Night” or “Freedom’s Eve”) for the Emancipation Proclamation to become law at the stroke of midnight, January 1, 1863. With the dawn of the New Year came the declaration of freedom for all slaves in the Confederate South. Prayers, songs, and shouts of jubilation filled the air as people fell to their knees and thanked God.
“Watch Party” Events
We encourage you to host your own “Watch Party” events in which community members can come together to watch the live streamed event at your campus or community center. If you are interested in hosting a Watch Party please read the Instructions, Connection Guide, and and Resources pages found on this site.