Harvard community shares memories, plans, hopes for Juneteenth

Thursday, June 18, 2020 - 17:20 in Mathematics & Economics

Celebrated annually in the African American community but unfamiliar to many Americans, Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery across the nation, with the last piece falling into place when the Union Army took control of Texas on June 19, 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Now it is recognized as a state holiday in 45 states and Washington, D.C. Efforts to make it a federal holiday have been unsuccessful. This year’s celebration, however, comes amid continuing protests and a national reckoning with the legacies of slavery and racism, triggered by the police killing of George Floyd. To understand the significance of Juneteenth, a blending of the words June and 19th, we asked some members of the Harvard community what the holiday means to them. Todne Thomas Assistant Professor of African American Religions at Harvard Divinity School; Suzanne Young Murray Assistant Professor at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Kris...

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