June 19th (usually called “Juneteenth”) is the anniversary of the day in 1865 when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas — fully two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation — to formally announce the end of the Civil War, take control of the state, and declare the end of slavery in the last place where people were still being held in bondage. Juneteenth, therefore, marks the end of chattel slavery in the United States.
Juneteenth signaled the end of an unimaginably dark period in our nation’s history, but also illustrates how slow and inequitable change can be. It took over 2 years for the Emancipation Proclamation to reach Texas. Today, it is still taking years for freedom and justice to reach all people in this country equally. Juneteenth is about more than celebration — it’s about remembrance. Today we acknowledge and examine our past, in order to create a better future in light of our history.
A list of Juneteenth events and activities planned for this weekend around Northeast Ohio, as well as articles, films and other resources about Juneteenth, can be found on the DEI Division’s Racial Equity Resources page at https://jcu.edu/about-us/values-and-jesuit-tradition/diversity/inclusive-excellence/resources/racial-equity.