Grace Murray Stephenson and family at an Emancipation Day Celebration in 1900. Photo courtesy of Austin History Center, Austin Public Library

Juneteenth Remembrance

To the Maryville community,

This Friday, June 19, is a crucial day in the history of America and for the cause of freedom. On this date in 1865, United States Major General Granger landed at Galveston, Texas, and brought news of the defeat of the Confederacy and the freeing of the slaves. Until that time, enslaved African Americans were denied their freedom by Texas authorities and slave owners who withheld the news of the Emancipation Proclamation. Soon after, “Juneteenth” became a holiday of celebration and reflection in the African American community across Texas and within the United States. This day is the oldest celebration of the end of slavery.

Today as we reflect on issues of social justice that America has yet to face and deal with as a nation, it is crucial that we reflect on the history of that struggle. Specifically, slavery and its impact on systemic racism in our country. It is equally important that we honor and celebrate those who fought, suffered, and died fighting for the freedom and dignity of African Americans and all who were denied equality and justice before the law.

I encourage all of you to learn more about this important day and period of our history.

Mark Lombardi, PhD
President of Maryville University


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