UHart Celebrates Juneteenth
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a time for celebration, education, and reflection. Today, the University of Hartford, along with people across the nation, are commemorating Juneteenth, the day in 1865 on which enslaved people in Texas learned that the Civil War and their enslavement came to an end, more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Institutionally, we join in recognizing the significance of this historic day. We encourage members of our campus community to engage in further education about the history and importance of the day; contribute to campus, local, state, and/or national initiatives that focus on anti-racism and ending systems of white supremacy; and participate in local celebrations.
History of the Holiday
“Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19 that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation—which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.
“Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas, a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics, and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement, and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long overdue. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities, and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.”
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement encourages further engagement. Below is a listing of resources that will provide an expanded understanding of the history of Juneteenth and manifestations of racism. This list is a small sample of the abundance of resources available online.
- 6 ways to be antiracist, because being 'not racist' isn't enough – Mashable
- The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth – National Museum of African American History & Culture
- How to be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi
- Island of Color: Where Juneteenth Started, by Izola Ethel Fedford Collins
- On Juneteenth, by Annette Gordon-Reed
- Anti-Racist Action and Becoming Part of the Solution – Psychology Today
- Slavery Didn’t End on Juneteenth. What You Should Know About This Important Day – NPR
- So You Want to Learn about Juneteenth? – The New York Times
- What it means to be anti-racist – Vox
- Why all Americans should honor Juneteenth – Vox
Local Juneteenth Events and Celebrations
UHart's celebration is on June 16 at 6 p.m. on campus, and although the registration deadline has passed, there are many celebrations and programs available within the Greater Hartford Community.
See the full lineup of offerings below:
Blue Back Square, 65 Memorial Rd., West Hartford, Conn.
Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?
Contact Christine Grant, Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement (email@example.com; 860.768.4220) and/or Lisa Coté, Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (firstname.lastname@example.org; 860.768.4932).