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Juneteenth 2024

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UD celebrates federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States

Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, is an opportunity to reflect on the past, celebrate Black freedom, and look toward the future.

“When we celebrate holidays like Juneteenth, we are honoring this country’s true history. We are talking about some of the hard conversations — some of the uncomfortable truths — about what it has meant to be a Black American in this country,” said Delaware State Senator Marie Pinkney, an Africana studies graduate student at the University of Delaware. “And that is so important. It is important that we take the stories of Black Americans out of the margins and the sidelines and make them main topics in our nation’s history.”

Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. On June 19, 1865, Union Major General Gordon Granger told enslaved men, women and children in Galveston, Texas, that they were free and that the Civil War had ended.

The 159-year-old holiday is a reminder that the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863, did not liberate all enslaved Black people in the Confederate States and that Texas enslavers refused to adhere to life without slavery as mandated by the Union until federal troops arrived to enforce the Proclamation.

President Joe Biden signed into law on June 17, 2021, the “Juneteenth National Independence Day Act,” designating Juneteenth as a legal public holiday. Since then, the holiday’s reach has been expanded to encourage all Americans to celebrate Black freedom and educate themselves on the complex history of Black liberation and ongoing struggles for justice and equality.

UD is observing Juneteenth on Wednesday, June 19, with classes suspended and offices closed.​

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Juneteenth graphic

Juneteenth is a federal holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The University of Delaware is observing Juneteenth on Wednesday, June 19, with classes suspended and offices ​closed

Juneteenth events in Delaware

Journey to Freedom: A Juneteenth Celebration – Fundraising Walk

Saturday, June 22, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Battery Park

1 Delaware St.

New Castle, DE

Juneteenth Block Party

Saturday, June 22, 12-4 p.m.

Dover High School

1 Dover High Dr.

Dover, DE

Juneteenth Jam

Friday, June 21, 6-9 p.m.

One Village Alliance

31 West 31st St.

Wilmington, DE

Lewes Annual Juneteenth Celebration

Saturday, June 22, 1-6 p.m.

George H.P. Smith Park

Johnson and Dupont avenues

Lewes, DE

West Rehoboth Juneteenth Celebration

Friday, June 19, 4-9 p.m.

West Side Creative Market

19826 Central Ave.

Rehoboth Beach, DE

Beyond Juneteenth Celebration

Saturday, June 20, 5-7:30 p.m.

Delaware Art Museum

2301 Kentmere Parkway

Wilmington, DE

Black History Tours and Celebration at John Bell House

June 15-21, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

First State Heritage Park

43 The Green

Dover, DE

Institutional Equity at UD

The Office of Institutional Equity at the University of Delaware provides year-round educational opportunities for the UD community to meet the evolving needs of faculty, staff and students. OIE’s social justice curriculum provides ongoing education at all levels of expertise and understanding in an effort to provide UD community members with the knowledge and tools to co-create a socially just and equitable campus community.

The Center for Black Culture (CBC) is a “Home Away from Home” for many Black students and also provides support to other underrepresented student populations. The Center’s mission is to create a supportive environment that encourages the full participation of students in all areas of the University, and to educate the larger community on the challenges, needs and interests of these students. The Center provides support to about 20 Registered Student Organizations annually and advises the Cultural Programming Advisory Board (CPAB) and Black Student Union (BSU).​

Article by UDaily Staff 

Video by Sam Kmiec

Photo illustration by Jeffrey C. Chase 

June 18, 2024

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