Juneteenth |
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Juneteeth 2021

What is Juneteeth?

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) is a holiday commemorating June 19th, 1865, the day on which slavery was effectively ended in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all enslaved people in the Confederacy, had taken effect two-and-a-half years beforehand, slaves in Texas still had not been freed. On June 19th, 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to issue and enforce General Order Number 3, which stated that all slaves were free, and that freedmen would now work for wages instead of performing unpaid labor. Over 100 years later in 1980, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday, and since then, all but three states have recognized Juneteenth as a state holiday or observance.

Penn Celebrates

June 17, 2021

  • Welcome and Reflection (4:00 p.m.-4:15 p.m.)
  • Panel Discussion—The Contemporary Significance of Juneteenth (4:15 p.m. -5:00 p.m.)
  • Student Performances—5:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

June 18, 2021

  •  Keynote Address, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Ibram Kendi in conversation with Provost Wendell Pritchett

Juneteenth Resources

Louis Gates, Jr., H. (n.d.). What is Juneteenth? PBS.
National Museum of African American History & Culture. (n.d.). The historical legacy of Juneteenth.
Nix, E. (2015). What is Juneteenth? History.
The Key. (2020). Resources for understanding and celebrating Juneteenth.
The Philadelphia Inquirer. (2020). What is Juneteenth? A day to reflect on freedom [Video]. YouTube.
The Root. (2018). This is why Juneteenth is important for America [Video]. YouTube.
Penn Med

University of Pennsylvania Resources

Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. (2020). In honor of Juneteenth, videos and other civic education resources.
de Groot, K., García, K., & Shepard, L. (2020). Juneteenth: A day for reflection, conversation, and learning. Penn Today.
Gutmann, W., Pritchett, W., Carnaroli, C., & Mitchell, J. (2020). Juneteenth: An important day for Reflection. University of Pennsylvania Almanac.
Greer Polite, F. (2020). Celebrating Juneteenth – Continuing our movement. Penn Medicine.
Penn Libraries News. (2020). Diversity in the (virtual) stacks: Juneteenth. Penn Libraries, Universisty of Pennsylvania.
The Wharton School. (n.d.). Taking time to reflect: How to celebrate Juneteenth. Wharton Stories.

Research & Archives

Bratter, J., Byrd, A., DesRoches, R., Hayes, M., Hebl., M., King, D., Matthews, P. J., McDaniel, C., Sidbury, J., & Torres, M. (2020). Reflections on Juneteenth and America’s racial legacy lectures. Rice Digital Scholarship Archive.
Higgins, M. (2018).  Juneteenth: fact sheet. Congressional Research Service Reports & Analysis.
Hume, J., & Arceneaux, N. (2019). Public memory, cultural legacy, and press coverage of the Juneteenth Revival. Journalism History.
Library of Congress. (n.d.). Voices remembering slavery: freed people tell their stories.
ny public library

How can I honor and celebrate Juneteenth?

Black Lives Matter: Ways you can help.
Hillman, M. (2020). 10 Things we want white people to do to celebrate Juneteenth. Wayside Youth & Family Support Network.
How to celebrate Juneteenth.
nextgen america. (n.d.). Tell Congress: We need national recognition of Juneteenth.
Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade & Festival.
Posey, K. (2020). 6 local and national black organizations seeking donations. The Red & Black.