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Remembering Juneteenth


Written by Dr. Ruth Shoge, in collaboration with Madeline Klinger.

Juneteenth, short for June Nineteenth, is a celebration of the effective end of slavery in the US in 1865. Union troops arrived in Galveston Texas on June 19th to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed. This came two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln, which proclaimed that as of January 1, 1863 enslaved people in the confederacy shall be forever free.

At UC Berkeley, we have the day off from classes and work, which provides us an opportunity to reflect on the historical significance of Juneteenth, acknowledge its importance, and share ways to commemorate and honor the day.

Remember, Juneteenth is not just a celebration of the past; it is an acknowledgment of the ongoing fight for freedom, equality, and social justice. Let us come together as a community to honor this historic event and work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable future for all.

Learning Opportunities

  • Connecting Black History to Joy and celebrating the many ways in which the accomplishments of Black Americans shaped America.
  • The Atlantic’s Inheritance Collection, an interesting compilation of stories American history, Black life, and the resilience of memory.
  • The documentary 13th by Ava Duverney about the 13th Amendment and how remnants of slavery still exist today.


Take a moment for personal reflection on the progress made, challenges faced, and the ongoing work required to achieve racial equality. Amplify Black voices, stories, and experiences by sharing them on social media platforms, engaging in discussions, and recommending books, movies, and music created by African American artists.


Explore the various events and celebrations taking place in your local community. From parades and festivals to educational seminars and art exhibitions, Juneteenth festivities provide an opportunity to engage with your community and learn more about African American history and culture.