Scripps College will observe the African American holiday known as “Juneteenth” this year on June 18, 2021. The holiday, often referred to as Black Independence Day, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and gets its name from combining the words “June” and “nineteenth.” In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation declared more than three million enslaved people living in the Confederate states to be free (this did not extend to enslaved people in the border states and in the North). However, it took more than two years before the news reached Texas. It wasn’t until June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, that the state’s enslaved people learned that slavery had been abolished. The following year, the first official Juneteenth celebrations were celebrated by formerly enslaved people in the Lone Star State.
While Juneteenth is a celebration and tribute to the legacy and power of Black people who endured and overcame the most heinous and inhumane conditions of slavery, it also carries the weight of our shared United States history.
To learn more about Juneteenth,
we invite you to explore the links below, among others:
Mary Hatcher-Skeers, Professor of Chemistry, Associate Dean of Faculty for Racial Equity
Denise Nelson Nash, Vice President and Secretary of the Board of Trustees
and Convener of IDEA Initiative
Marissiko Wheaton, Assistant Dean and Director of SCORE