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Social Justice Team: Juneteenth emails

Juneteenth email sent 6/18/20

Happy Juneteenth Campus Library staff,

The message below about the history and significance of Juneteenth was information the Social Justice Team also sent out on to commemorate the holiday in 2019. This holiday persists as a joyous reminder of what Black people have overcome and a solemn remembrance of the lives destroyed by centuries of oppression. Recently, structural racism has been under deep examination in the United States, including how inequities exist today as direct extensions of the brutal slavery Juneteenth celebrates the end of. If you find yourself with questions about how the legacy of slavery led the nation to this current national conversation, we would strongly recommend you watch Ava Duvernay’s 2015 Academy Award-nominated documentary 13th, which is currently streaming for free on YouTube.

At the end of this email, you will find links to events to celebrate and honor Juneteenth, including events happening on June 19th.

_______________________________________________________________________________

A significant day in the history of the United States, Juneteenth, is often mis-understood or forgotten completely. The Campus Library Social Justice Team wishes to share some basic information about Juneteenth and offer resources to learn more.

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a portmanteau of June 19, the day in 1865 when slaves were freed in the state of Texas. It’s also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Jun-Jun. The message was delivered to Galveston, Texas by U.S. General Gordon Granger.

Why is it significant?

Specifically, Juneteenth marks the day when word arrived in Texas that slaves had been freed – more than two years after slaves were officially freed in the south by the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Reasons for the delay are not precisely known, but often indicate that news may have been deliberately delayed by wealthy landowners seeking additional harvests from slave labor or that the original messenger was killed.

When and how is it celebrated?

Juneteenth is celebrated on different days in various states due to when slaves’ liberation was enforced (some on January 1). East Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, southwestern Arkansas, southern Oklahoma, and California observe it on June 19. During the 1960s, celebrations declined due to integration efforts of the Civil Rights Movement, but Juneteenth began to receive greater recognition again in the 1970s. Efforts have been made to declare Juneteenth a national holiday. Celebrations often include events and activities such as games, picnics, barbecues, beauty pageants, talent contests, and sporting events. More generally, Juneteenth is a day to celebrate black pride and black achievements.  

What I can I do to honor and acknowledge this day?

Read and learn more about Juneteenth (links below) and consider how slaves receiving freedom did not equate with them being free. Share links and information with others. Celebrate, but consider what it means to respectfully acknowledge this day if you are a white person.

Information obtained from:

Further Reading

1      Parks, K. A. (2014). Juneteenth Celebration. In C. A. Gallagher & C. D. Lippard (Eds.), Race and Racism in the United States: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic (Vol. 2, pp. 650-651). Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX3160000364/GVRL?u=wash_main&sid=GVRL&xid=c5ec6733

2      Juneteenth. (2015). In K. Jones (Ed.), Holiday Symbols and Customs (5th ed., pp. 486-488). Detroit: Omnigraphics. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX6196900156/GVRL?u=wash_main&sid=GVRL&xid=5626d211

3   https://web.archive.org/web/20190815183725/https:/randomnerds.com/a-primer-to-juneteenth-and-a-polite-heads-up-for-white-observers/ 

4      Why there is a movement for reparations: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

Juneteenth 2020 Resources

Juneteenth: Ijeoma Oluo and Ahamefule Oluo in conversation  - Watch Replay from June 17th

Sent on behalf of the Social Justice Team,

Chelsea, Michael, Sarah S., and Heather

Juneteenth email sent 6/19/19

Hi Campus Library staff,

A significant day in the history of the United States, Juneteenth, is upcoming and often mis-understood or forgotten completely. The Campus Library Social Justice Team wishes to share some basic information about Juneteenth and offer resources to learn more.

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a portmanteau of June 19, the day in 1865 when slaves were freed in the state of Texas. It’s also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Jun-Jun. The message was delivered to Galveston, Texas by U.S. General Gordon Granger.

Why is it significant?

Specifically, Juneteenth marks the day when word arrived in Texas that slaves had been freed – more than two years after slaves were officially freed in the south by the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Reasons for the delay are not precisely known, but often indicate that news may have been deliberately delayed by wealthy landowners seeking additional harvests from slave labor or that the original messenger was killed.

When and how is it celebrated?

Juneteenth is celebrated on different days in various states due to when slaves’ liberation was enforced (some on January 1). East Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, southwestern Arkansas, southern Oklahoma, and California observe it on June 19. During the 1960s, celebrations declined due to integration efforts of the Civil Rights Movement, but Juneteenth began to receive greater recognition again in the 1970s. Efforts have been made to declare Juneteenth a national holiday. Celebrations often include events and activities such as games, picnics, barbecues, beauty pageants, talent contests, and sporting events. More generally, Juneteenth is a day to celebrate black pride and black achievements.  

What I can I do to honor and acknowledge this day?

Read and learn more about Juneteenth (links below) and consider how slaves receiving freedom did not equate with them being free. Celebrate, but consider what it means to respectfully acknowledge this day if you are a white person.


Information obtained from:

   Parks, K. A. (2014). Juneteenth Celebration. In C. A. Gallagher & C. D. Lippard (Eds.), Race and Racism in the United States: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic (Vol. 2, pp. 650-651). Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX3160000364/GVRL?u=wash_main&sid=GVRL&xid=c5ec6733

2    Juneteenth. (2015). In K. Jones (Ed.), Holiday Symbols and Customs (5th ed., pp. 486-488). Detroit: Omnigraphics. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX6196900156/GVRL?u=wash_main&sid=GVRL&xid=5626d211

3    https://randomnerds.com/a-primer-to-juneteenth-and-a-polite-heads-up-for-white-observers/

 

Another race-related event often left out of history books?

The Tulsa Race Riots – one of the worst instances of racial violence in American history. Recently, the last living survivor of the Tulsa Race Riots was interviewed for NPR’s series “Last Witness”. Highly recommended listening: https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2018/05/31/615546965/meet-the-last-surviving-witness-to-the-tulsa-race-riot-of-1921