LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2022) – On January 1st, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the ‘Emancipation Proclamation’, but it wasn’t until June 19th, 1865 that the last remaining enslaved African Americans – men and women in Galveston, Texas – learned they were free.
Since that time, June 19th, or “Juneteenth”, has been celebrated annually in various parts of the United States to commemorate emancipation as well as celebrate African-American culture. Still, it took until June 17th of 2021 for the day to be recognized as a federal holiday, after becoming more widely celebrated among African-American communities and gaining more and more mainstream attention in the US.
On this episode of Behind the Blue, Dr. Anastasia Curwood, director of The Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies and African American and Africana Studies (AAAS) at UK, discusses the Juneteenth holiday, from her personal feelings and reflections on the significance of the day, to the importance of observance of the holiday by the university, and more.
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