The Wesleyan community celebrates African-American culture on June 19

Office of Equity and Inclusion Administrative Assistant Evelyn Bozeman and Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Alison Williams ’81 participated in the City of Middletown’s Juneteenth Liberation.

On June 18, several members of the Wesleyan community gathered at Smith Park in Middletown to participate in the second annual celebration of the June 19 Liberation of the City of Middletown. The Wesleyan Office for Equity and Inclusion was co-sponsor of the event.

“June 19 is a time when we can reflect on the painful mistakes of our country’s past and work toward racial reconciliation, honoring this day as a time of healing, learning and action,” Alison Williams said. 81, vice president for equity and inclusion. . “It’s also a time when we celebrate the significant contributions of African Americans to all aspects of American culture.”

Rani Arbo, Campus and Community Engagement Manager for the Center for the Arts, and Evelyn Bozeman
Rani Arbo, campus and community engagement manager for the Center for the Arts, and Evelyn Bozeman hold a booth during the Juneteenth Liberation. Wesleyan was co-sponsor of the event. Wesleyan staff distributed buttons at the event.

June 19, Williams said, is also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, June 19 Independence Day, and Black Independence Day. It marks the date when, June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery.

The Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln, had legally freed slaves in Texas on January 1, 1863, nearly 2½ years earlier. “Even after the general order, some slave masters hid the information from their enslaved blacks, holding them captive for at least one more harvest season,” she said. “Thus, Juneteenth has become a symbolic date representing African-American freedom.”

Additional photos from the event are below: (Photos courtesy of Alison Williams ’81)

June 19

June 19

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