June 19, 2021
Dear NCCU Community:
Today, June 19, marks the first time our nation will celebrate this new federal holiday. U.S. President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law on Thursday, June 17, 2021, making it first federal holiday approved since 1983, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was created.
Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day and Jubilee Day, marks a truly pivotal moment in history, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865, when news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally arrived in Galveston, Texas.
This week, on June 18, the James E. Shepard Memorial Library hosted an enriching discussion on Juneteenth titled, “Looking Back While Moving Forward.” The program featured several NCCU scholars discussing the meaning and importance of Juneteenth and why the day was crucial more than 156 years ago and continues to be today.
I invite you to view a replay of the conversation here: https://youtu.be/WWxM1Z_CID8
There are numerous Juneteenth events taking place in Durham, across the Triangle, throughout the state and around the country, both in person and virtually. I encourage each of us to do something to remember this milestone moment, while also understanding and continuing the work to ensure that freedom is a protected right for all individuals.
In Truth and Service,
Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., Chancellor