Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Events

JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION

Salt Lake Community College acknowledges Juneteenth as a Federal Holiday, and recognizes its meaning and purpose as a celebration of a freed people, once enslaved in the United States of America. We stand in unity with our staff, faculty, students and community in our first Juneteenth Celebration this June 22, 2022.

Volunteer for the SLCC Juneteenth Celebration

ABOUT JUNETEENTH

The newest federal holiday Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is celebrated on June 19. Its name comes from a combination of the month of June and the date 19th, which was the date that the slaves on Galveston Island, Texas learned that they had been free as per Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. We know from US history that Lincoln issued two Emancipation Proclamations, one in 1863 which freed all the slaves in the rebellion states, and the second one that ended slavery for all in 1865.

On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger and his military company arrived in Galveston and read the proclamation below.

General Order No. 3 states:

 “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

One common misunderstanding is that Juneteenth marks when the slaves were freed, but that is not true. Juneteenth celebrates what is believed to be when the last group of enslaved African Americans learned they had been freed years earlier.

Celebrations initially began in 1866, but in 2021, after decades of advocating for it to be a national holiday, the United States made Juneteenth an official federal holiday; Utah’s 2022 legislative session made it a state holiday. This year’s celebration marks SLCC’s first annual celebration.

Written by Jerri A. Harwell
Associate Professor of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies