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This is History: The Emancipation of 1927

By James McGill





The Emancipation Celebration of 1927

(Thomaston times 1927)

The Emancipation Celebration of 1927 was moved and celebrated in the rival communities of Lincoln Park and Harps Grove opposite side of town from the Central Railroad the usual place.

On the 28th of May 1927, P. J. Smith and J. T. Green for and in consideration of the sum of One $1 in hand paid and other valuable consideration, at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have granted, bargained, sold, aliened, conveyed and confirmed and by these presents do grant, barging, sell, alien, convey and confirmed unto the said J. W. Starling, U. S. Green, G.W. Green, Jr. W. M. Walker, and M. O. Green of the county of Upson, and J. T. Parker, J. W. Adams and S. M. Adams Trustees of Lincoln Park and their successors.


Property same to be used for school, playgrounds, swimming pool, and churches. When there is no longer used for such purpose, to revert back to the grantors, herein and heirs at law.) (Recorded in Deeds Book, pages 685-689).

Emancipation Association (Thomaston Times May 4, 1928)

The biggest and best Emancipation Day Exercises will be held on May 29th, 1928, by the Lincoln Park and Thomaston Emancipation Association. These exercises will be held on our own grounds, a fact in itself that we feel proud of. We feel very proud of the success we made last year, it being our first effort on these grounds.


Everything was peaceful and everybody had a good time. That what we all want and that what we must have. Everybody invited; everybody come and let have the best gathering we have ever had. Plenty Barbecue, good eats, and refreshments; Plenty of Music and Oratory, so come early.

Monroe Green Lincoln Park Mayor May 29, 1928 Emancipation Celebration (Thomaston Times June 1928)

The 29th of May, Emancipation Day, was duly celebrated in Thomaston by the color people of this city and section. A large number of Negroes from Upson and adjoining counties came to the city for the day which was spent mainly in wandering around and greeting friends and acquaintance or in riding to the parks in taxis.

Exercises were held in the rival communities, Lincoln Park and harps Grove, on the opposite sides of the city, which kept the crowd petty well distributed. The crowd was orderly and very little during the day. Only a few arrests were made and the behavior was good considering the number of Negroes here.

Consolidation of Emancipation Celebration (The Thomaston Times May 1958)

The Thomaston Time May 1958 stated that weeks of planning by Negroes of this community climaxed Friday with the annual Twenty-Ninth observance of Emancipation Day. The annual observance of Emancipation was completed with a parade and speaking. It was said to be on a broader scale in Thomaston than at any other point in the nation.

A parade through the main business section at 12 o’clock noon Friday was formed at the Speaking Ground in Lincoln Park and then moved to North Bethel Street. Arlie Zorn, president of the Emancipation Day celebration, said “some of the floats met on North Bethel and the rest assembled at the Speaking Ground.”

After assembling the units were moved to North Bethel for the beginning section of the town, and out Green Street for the return to Lincoln Park.

The presiding Bishop of The A. M. E. Church in Georgia, Rev. W.R. Wilkes was the principal speaker. At least two Negro bands-Drake High School Band and Booker High Band of Barnesville-were in the parade and performed 1:00 p.m. in Lincoln Park. Monroe G. Worthy acted as master of ceremonies at the Lincoln Park Program. The Negroes of the community surprised Arlie Zorn, In June 1958, with a trophy recognition of 22 years of service as chairman of the Emancipation Day program in Thomaston.

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