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Honor Juneteenth with Rio Salado College

Juneteenth Freedom Day Colorful banner for webinar featuring Angola Ambassador Joaquim do Espίrito Santo

Honor Juneteenth with Rio Salado College 

June 19 is Juneteenth! Juneteenth is a holiday that the African-American community has celebrated for more than a century. Over the last few years great strides have been made to make this important day a nationally recognized federal holiday, efforts which paid off in 2021 when the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act was passed into law. 

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is the nation’s oldest celebration commemorating the abolition of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth started in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 when Union General Gordon Granger’s troops arrived. Granger issued General Order No. 3 on June 19th, proclaiming that all slaves are free and possess an "absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves." The celebration that broke out following this declaration was the first Juneteenth.

In the modern world Juneteenth is a day to commemorate and celebration the liberation of African-Americans and emphasize their remarkable culture and achievements. It’s a time for reflection, reckoning, and rejoicing.

Juneteenth at the Rio Library

Want to learn more about Juneteenth? Our library staff has put together an informative guide full of resources that explore the history of Juneteenth and its cultural impact on our nation. Check out the guide online.

A Look Back at Black History Month 2022

We encourage you to further explore African American history by watching this captivating webinar with special guest speaker, Angola Ambassador Joaquim do Espίrito Santo.   

The webinar took place Feb. 24, 2022, as part of our Black History Month celebration and features an intriguing address by Ambassador do Espίrito Santo about leadership, and a discussion with Rio Salado Faculty Chair for Psychology, Philosophy and Religious Studies Wanda Tucker about her work with the 1619 Project retracing her family’s history as a descendant of the first generation of African slaves brought to the United States from Angola. There are also thought-provoking dialogues with attendees, links to resources, and a heartwarming musical tribute to present and past black leaders at the conclusion.  

We hope you enjoy this webinar and continue engaging in the dialogue by sharing it with your communities.

A special thank you to Ambassador do Espίrito Santo, our new friends at the Angola embassy, and all of the attendees for making this event a magical and memorable way to celebrate Black History Month. This event was sponsored by Rio Salado’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging committee to help foster a culture that values and honors everyone's unique qualities with respect and dignity.

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