NEW ORLEANS – This Juneteenth, April Hamm, a local Louisiana resident is celebrating Juneteenth by creating a Freedom Walk Google Map of local Black landmarks. Juneteenth, June 19, marks the true end of chattel slavery across the United States— which didn’t actually occur until 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Specifically, it marks the day when enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas (one of the westernmost points in the Confederate South) finally received news of their liberation by Union Major General Gordon Granger.
The tradition and the historical legacy of Juneteenth shows the value of never giving up hope in uncertain times. New Orleans Local Guide April is an activist, educator, and musician, who is dedicated to preserving Black history on Google Maps. In celebration of Juneteenth, April has created a freedom walk Google map around the city. Her contributions show us that being a Local Guide on Google Maps is more than leaving reviews — it’s a way to share the stories of history. Local Guides influence how millions of people navigate and explore the world. Their contributions inform people about what matters to them, make it easier for them to find what they need, and help support small businesses.
This video showcases April and how she creates local lists, adds and reviews places with cultural significance on the map, and shares stories of Black history to help raise awareness and advocate for collective memory in the New Orleans community.
April’s curated list of local historical landmarks and local Black-owned businesses in New Orleans celebrates freedom and promotes prosperity in the Black community and beyond. Locations featured on April’s Juneteenth Freedom Walk are:
Meals From the Heart Cafe (1100 N Peters St #13)
Congo Square (701 N Rampart St)
Free People of Color Museum (2336 Esplanade Ave)
Canal Street Ferry Terminal
Algiers Ferry Terminal
To learn more about Juneteenth, you can explore an exhibit on Google Arts and Culture.