In the past year, high-profile incidents of police brutality, protests and mass marches have broadened the national dialogue on race and raised the profile of Juneteenth, a holiday which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, to announce that the Civil War had ended, and all enslaved people were to be freed. The troops came two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared freedom for slaves living in Confederate states.
In symbolic recognition to the end of slavery, Texas proclaimed June 19 — Juneteenth — as a state holiday in 1980, and several states have followed suit over the decades.
As the Juneteenth holiday approaches, questions of race in America remain at the fore of the national discussion.
Florida State University professors are available to comment and provide clarity and context on what this Juneteenth means at this time in history.
Shantel Gabrieal Buggs, assistant professor, Department of Sociology and Program for African-American Studies, College of Social Sciences and Public Policy
(850) 645-1730; firstname.lastname@example.org
Buggs’ research interests include race, gender and intimacy, racial identity and community and representation of race and gender in popular culture.
“Though Juneteenth originated as a distinctly Texan celebration, I grew up celebrating Juneteenth with local Black community organizations in my hometown in Colorado. Taking the time to be in community and acknowledge the things our ancestors bore under slavery and colonialism is an important part of Black life in the U.S. and across the globe; with the increased national attention on Juneteenth and the 1921 Tulsa Massacre, it has become evident that many communities beyond Black folks with ties to the South are also interested in learning and celebrating.”
Katrinell Davis, associate professor, Department of Sociology and Program for African-American Studies, College of Social Sciences and Public Policy
Davis studies how racial, gender and class biases as well as institutional constraints shape the accessibility of quality neighborhood resources and how social groups and/or communities navigate existing hurdles.