June 19 marks a critically important day in our country’s history: Juneteenth, celebrating the end of enslavement in the U.S. and dating back to 1865 at the end of the Civil War. Members of The Shipley School’s History Department wanted to share a bit about the importance of this day, the origins of it, and a few resources and events for those interested in learning more or attending celebrations. We encourage members of our community to reach out to the History Department to further discuss and/or explore ways in which dialogue about Juneteenth, in particular, and diversity and inclusion in our curriculum, in general, can be expanded.
History of Juneteenth (June 19)
Bluntly, this day celebrates the end of enslavement of in the United States. Although institutionalized racism and inequity continue to plague our country and brutalize our citizens up until the present day, June 19, 1865 was a turning point in American History. This day commemorates freedom, and its significance would come to fruition with the passing of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. Although President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, it would not be until General Order Number 3 was issued by Maj. General Granger in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 declaring enslavement there would officially end. This act effectively liberated approximately 250,000 enslaved persons throughout Texas, and was received with jubilation by millions of free and formerly enslaved African Americans throughout the entire country. White supremacy, Black Codes, Jim Crow Laws, and segregation continue(d) to terrorize our country, however Juneteenth historically signified (and signifies) a joyous event in our history.
- National Museum of African American History and Culture
Historical Legacy of Juneteenth
- Free Professional Development Session with The Library Company of Philadelphia
Juneteenth and Unfreedom - With Dr. Walter Greason
Unfreedom: The Limits of the Fourteenth Amendment Under Reconstruction will discuss race in the twentieth century as a specific form of ideological technology. Focusing on the events and voices between Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Walter Greason will lead a discussion about the economic, political, social, and cultural foundations of white supremacy as products of an emerging industrial order. From the regimentation of the plantation in the early nineteenth century through the rigidity of commodity and financial markets at the start of the Cold War, this talk will illuminate the networks that led to entrenched inequality for more than a century. Join us for this powerful presentation followed by a moderated Q&A session.
Zinn Education Project
June 19 1865 Emancipation Day
- Ted Ed
What is Juneteenth and Why Is It So Important?
- Comparing Juneteenth withFrederick Douglass’ "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?"
From Dr. Henry Louis Gates on the Origins of Juneteenth:
“July 4th is compelling [to celebrate emancipation], but it was also problematic for many African Americans, since the country’s founders had given in on slavery and their descendants had expanded it through a series of failed ‘compromises,’ at the nadir of which Frederick Douglass had made his own famous declaration to the people of Rochester, NY, on July 5, 1852: ‘What to the American slave is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity.’”
- In the News: Juneteenth Declared a Holiday
Mayor Kenney Declares Juneteenth an Official Philadelphia Holiday
Nike, Target Recognize Juneteenth as Paid Holiday
Virginia Governor Northam Declares Juneteenth State Holiday
- Teaching Tolerance
- Mr. Bryan Stevenson
Equal Justice Initiative
- Juneteenth Celebration - Annenberg Center UPENN
Sweet Honey in the Rock
SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK® invites you to a virtual concert and conversation on Juneteenth (Friday, June 19 at 8 PM EST), in honor of this day in 1865 when news of emancipation reached the last group of enslaved Black people in Galveston, TX – two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, making slavery illegal. The performance will stream live from the historic stage at The Lincoln Theater in Washington, DC. Special guests include Bryan Stevenson, Danny Glover, Gina Belafonte, Sonia Sanchez, Aloe Blacc, William Barber III, Kiki Shepard, Jenifer Lewis, Jordan Waré and Sophia Dawson. Watch for free at sweethoneyintherock.org.
Learn more about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at The Shipley School.Illustration by Sarah McGrath '20.