Canisius College will host its inaugural Juneteenth Celebration on Friday, June 18, 2021. Approximately 60 faculty, staff and students will engage in a day of education and service with the Hamlin Park community and Juneteenth Buffalo Inc. The event, held on Friday during our summer schedule, begins at 9:00 a.m. and will conclude after lunch at 12:30 p.m.
It was on June 19, 1865, when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, along with more than 1,800 federal troops, arrived in Galveston, TX, to take control of the state nearly two months after the end of the Civil War, confirming the freedom of the last remaining enslaved Americans in the deepest parts of the South. Gen. Granger read President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation to them that day in Galveston. Only through the 13th Amendment ratified six months later in December of 1865 did emancipation put an end to slavery.
Juneteenth commemorates the anniversary of the date when news of emancipation finally reached all enslaved Americans and Canisius is proud to honor this day through acts of solidarity. In collaboration with Juneteenth Inc. of Buffalo, Canisius will have an opportunity to hear from their organization’s leaders and participate in service projects throughout the city of Buffalo, including clean-up efforts in Hamlin Park and other designated locations identified by Juneteenth. Following a morning of service, participants will be welcomed back to campus for a lunch and a special program by Tradition Keepers: Black Storytellers of WNY who will share stories behind the history of Juneteenth and the struggle for freedom and liberation among Black Americans.
Although registration is now closed, you can join us on zoom at https://canisius.zoom.us/j/93596015342 for the presentations by Juneteenth Buffalo at 9:00 a.m. and the Tradition Keepers: Black Storytellers of WNY at 11:45 a.m.
Canisius’ Juneteenth celebration hopes to inspire conversation, action and hope in our ongoing work toward anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion. Additional resources on the history and celebrations of Juneteenth are available here:
- Juneteenth of Buffalo, Inc.
- PBS African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross
- 2013-Dr. Shennette Garrett-Scott, 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation
- Festivals of freedom: memory and meaning in African American emancipation celebrations, 1808-1915
- National Juneteenth Observance Foundation
- http://NPR Embracing Freedom: Juneteenth Celebration
This marks the start of an important tradition at Canisius and a wonderful opportunity to come together in service and celebration.
Submitted by: Fatima Rodriguez Johnson, Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Canisius College