Georgetown College Celebrates Juneteenth
Submitted on June 16, 2022
Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday just last year and is celebrated on June 19. At Georgetown, we declared Juneteenth a College holiday just ahead of the United States’ declaration. While this holiday is new to the federal and Georgetown calendars, it is not a new celebration. Here is more on the origins of this day of celebration.
Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States and is also a celebration of African-American culture. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it has been celebrated in various parts of the United States since 1865. President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law on June 17, 2021. The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, the day General Order No. 3 by Union Army General Gordon Granger proclaimed freedom for enslaved people in Texas, which was the last state in the Confederacy with institutional slavery.
The holiday is considered the longest-running African-American holiday and has been called America's Second Independence Day.
Robbi Barber, assistant dean of students and director of Diversity and Inclusion at Georgetown College, shares, “Juneteenth reminds us of not only the struggles that our ancestors came through, but also of what we can and have achieved together. Celebrating this holiday helps us to appreciate what it took to get here, as well as allowing our current generation to reflect on what more there is to do.
“As Georgetown College continues to foster a campus-wide culture supportive of diversity and inclusion, our goal in celebrating this holiday is to let it be a reminder for us to not be complacent where we are, but reflect on where we want to be and what more we need to do to create an inclusive campus.”