Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas heard the Emancipation Proclamation read aloud for the first time, despite being issued in Washington, D.C. two and a half years earlier. The holiday recognizes the moment when the last – rather than the first – enslaved people in the country were informed of their freedom. This day is celebrated in Black communities across the United States through regional events and traditions. Here are some ideas for how you can observe Juneteenth this year:
- Unpack the history of Juneteenth with the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s online exhibit, Juneteenth: A Celebration of Resilience. Complete our reflection activity based on this exhibit to receive a Student Life t-shirt!
- Join our community’s celebration with the City of Gainesville’s Journey to Juneteenth.
- Support local Black-owned businesses. Check out Gainesville Black Professionals’ Minority Business Directory.
- If you aren’t Black, allow space for your Black friends and colleagues to celebrate. Take time to educate friends and family members about Juneteenth.
- Sign 93-year-old Opal Lee’s petition to make Juneteenth a nationally recognized holiday.*
- Mark your calendar! In 2022, Santa Fe College will be closed on Friday, June 17 in observance of the Juneteenth holiday on Sunday, June 19, 2022.
* Historic Update: On June 17, 2021, Juneteenth became a recognized federal holiday when the President signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. About 80 members of Congress, community leaders, local officials and activists, including 93-year-old Opal Lee, who is known as the “grandmother of Juneteenth,” attended the White House signing ceremony, This is the first federal holiday to be added since MLK Day was established in 1983. Read more.