Celebrating MA Emancipation Day, AKA Quock Walker Day

July 8th is Massachusetts Emancipation Day, also known as Quock Walker Day, to celebrate the 1783 cases that ended legal support for slavery in the Commonwealth. By advocating for his own freedom and suing his enslaver for assault and battery, Walker made the push that lead to the Massachusetts Supreme Court declaring slavery incompatible with the Constitution.

Sean Osborne, historian and cofounder of the Association of Black Citizens of Lexington, lead the charge for Massachusetts Emancipation Day and Quock Walker to be recognized in the state. Read this interview with Osborne and the Lexington Observer to learn more about his inspiration and the history of the holiday, and this article from the Bay State Banner with more about the cases that lead to the end of slavery in MA.

An illustration from the Association of Black Citizens of Lexington from the announcement of Quock Walker Day 2024 celebration activities.