What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is the oldest national commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. Though the Emancipation Proclamation stated that all slaves were free as of January 1, 1863, many enslaved African Americans only learned of their freedom on June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended. Today, Juneteenth commemorates African American liberation and celebrates Black history and culture, both of which are appreciated and valued at Carolina.
The Senate unanimously passed a resolution on June 15, 2021, establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a US holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
The symbols on the official flag represent important elements of Juneteenth:
- The date, June 19, 1865, refers to the day when enslaved African Americans learned of their emancipation.
- The Star represents Texas, the Lone Star State, as well as the freedom of African Americans in all 50 states.
- The burst outlining the star, inspired by a nova (what astronomers refer to as a new star), represents a new beginning for all African Americans.
- The arc represents a new horizon full of opportunities and promise for Black Americans.
- The red, white and blue represents the American flag, reminding slaves and their descendants that they are Americans.
To learn more and find additional resources from the University Office for Diversity and Inclusion, click here.
Upcoming Live Events
Take the time to understand the profound historical and emotional significance of Juneteenth by joining us in these live webinars and discussions with the greater Carolina community. These live events are open to the public – click on the images below to find out more.
Important Conversations with Carolina experts, alumni and students
It’s never too late to utilize resources provided by Carolina experts, alumni and students. We have gathered event recaps and other useful content for you to use to self- educate, celebrate and uplift Black stories.