The Springfield College campus community came together on Friday, June 16 in recognition of the observance of Juneteenth with a flag-raising ceremony in front of Marsh Memorial.
Following the ceremony, the Division of Inclusion and Community Engagement hosted a Zoom with Dr. Stefan M. Bradley, the Charles Hamilton Houston 1915 Professor of Black Studies and History at Amherst College. Dr. Bradley has recently published Upending the Ivory Tower: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Ivy League, which won the History of Education Society Outstanding Book Award as well as the Anna Julia Cooper CLR James Book Award from the National Council of Black Studies.
“It was an honor to have Dr. Bradley speak to our community and share his knowledge and passion for recognizing Juneteenth,” added Springfield College Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Deja Ware ’19. “The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion continues to encourage everyone to continue to educate themselves on the importance of observing this holiday in our country.”
Along with other award-winning publications throughout the span of his career, Dr. Bradley has been acknowledged for his commitment to transforming his community and has received numerous honors and awards, including the Don Brennan Humanitarian Award; the Better Family Life Excellence in Educational Leadership Award, and the SLU Faculty Excellence Award to name a few. Dr. Bradley provided insight and historical context on the observance and significance of Juneteenth.
June 19—Juneteenth — is a federal holiday acknowledging the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day, Juneteenth was officially recognized as a national holiday in 2021. The date is meaningful as it has been identified as the date on which news finally reached enslaved communities in Galveston, Texas, in 1865, two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on Jan. 1, 1863.
Juneteenth is the first new federal holiday to be established since 1983, when the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. was approved. Similar to the King holiday, Americans have been called upon to acknowledge Juneteenth as a “day on, not a day off,” focusing our time on the idea of service to others. On June 19, Americans are encouraged to gain a deeper historical appreciation and understanding into the lives and lived experiences of African Americans.