On June 19, 1865, Union Army Major General Gordon Granger stood in Galveston, Texas, and issued the order declaring “all slaves are free.” As Texas was the last state in the Confederacy to fall, the date of Granger’s declaration has since become known as Juneteenth, recognizing when—2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation—all enslaved people were freed.
In observance of Juneteenth, Case Western Reserve University will be closed on June 18, 2021. We urge members of our community to reflect on the meaning of this day; share perspectives on race, slavery, and freedom; and celebrate in our community.
Above all, we hope these actions will spur learning, discussion and action.
First, hear from university leadership, staff and faculty on what Juneteenth means to them:
Shades of Freedom: A pre- and post-Juneteenth Conversation with Heather Burton and Robert Solomon
Thursday, June 17, at noon
Join the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity for a public presentation featuring Robert L. Solomon, vice president of the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, and Heather E. Burton, senior director for faculty and institutional diversity in the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity. This presentation will explore the journey of freedom in America for African descended people from 1619 to 2021; the highs and lows along the journey and where the road can lead for the future. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration is required through CampusGroups.
On Juneteenth Conversation
Wednesday, June 16 at 2 p.m.
The Cleveland Humanities Collaborative and the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities will host a virtual conversation to discuss On Juneteenth by past Anisfield-Wolf Book Award Winner Annette Gordon-Reed published in May.
On Juneteenth provides a historian’s view of the country’s long road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the enormous hardships that African-Americans have endured in the century since, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow and beyond. All too aware of the stories of cowboys, ranchers, and oilmen that have long dominated the lore of the Lone Star State, Gordon-Reed―herself a Texas native and the descendant of enslaved people brought to Texas as early as the 1820s―forges a new and profoundly truthful narrative of her home state, with implications for us all.
Watch a selection of videos from Case Western Reserve faculty, staff and administrators as they discuss various aspects on race, slavery and freedom:
- Introduction to a Conversation on Race, Slavery and Freedom with Vice President for the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity Robert L. Solomon
- A Conversation on Race, Slavery and Freedom with Ben Vinson III: Provost Vinson is an accomplished historian of Latin America, and the recipient of the 2019 Howard F. Cline Book Prize in Mexican History for his book, Before Mestizaje: The Frontiers of Race and Caste in Colonial Mexico. His talk focuses on slavery in Latin America and why almost no modern society lays untouched by slavery’s legacy.
- A Conversation on Race, Slavery and Freedom with Noel Voltz: Voltz is an assistant professor of African American History and a scholar of African American and African Diasporic History. Her particular research interests focus on women of color in slavery and freedom in the United States and the Atlantic World. Her talk focuses on the meaning of Juneteenth and her personal connection to this day of celebration.
- A Conversation on Race, Slavery and Freedom with Joy R. Bostic: Bostic is an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies and the founding director of the minor in African and African American Studies. Her talk focuses on creativity and freedom in the North American context.
In the Community
Cleveland Public Library Juneteenth Events
Cleveland Public Library is celebrating Juneteenth with a week of cultural education programs and activities to honor the day, as well as spark conversation about the history and future of Black America.
Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration Festival
Friday, June 18, at 10 a.m. through Saturday, June 19, at 5 p.m.
Visit the African American Museum (1765 Crawford Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106) for a celebration of Black American Culture.
Juneteenth “Party With A Purpose”
Friday, June 18, from 5 to 10 p.m.
Sevynteenth Foundation is hosting a “Party With A Purpose” to celebrate Juneteenth at Crosslens (16006 Waterloo Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44110). The money raised from this event will fund scholarships for its summer campers!
Juneteenth in Glenville
Friday, June 18, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Commemorate the spirit of Juneteenth at GlenVillage Outdoor Pavilion (1400 E. 105th St., Cleveland) with freedom, community, and economic empowerment. Participate in the Q&A session with candidates for the 11th Congressional District. Submit your questions for the candidates in advance. Call or text 216.N2N.MEET (216.626.6338) by June 16.
A Celebration of Juneteenth!
Saturday, June 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Join the Caledonia Community Cultural Arts Center (960 Caledonia Avenue, Cleveland Heights, OH 44112) for food, music and games.
Celebrate Juneteenth with a Bicycle Tour Around the Circle
Saturday, June 19, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Juneteenth Freedom Rides invites you to join them on Saturday, June 19, for a Juneteenth Bicycle Ride Around the Circle. This will be a casual family-friendly bicycle ride through the University Circle area. This bike tour will highlight the African American contributions and achievements right in our own backyard. Riders will meet at 928 Wheelock Road, Cleveland, OH 44103 at 10:30 a.m. We will be adhering to current CDC guidelines to provide you with a safe outdoor activity.
The World on Stage at the Cleveland Cultural Gardens
Saturday, June 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Join the African American Cultural Garden at Centennial Peace Plaza (1051 Martin Luther King Blvd. Cleveland, OH 44108) in celebrating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. The day will feature a re-enactment of the 1865 Juneteenth event, a student essay contest sponsored by the Cleveland Cavaliers, spoken word performances, drill teams, drumming and the Grand March.
Juneteenth Block Party & Vendor Fair
Saturday, June 19, from noon to 6 p.m.
Stop by UnBAR Cafe (12635 Larchmere Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44120) for a Juneteenth Celebration and Vendor Fair.
Saturday, June 19, from noon to 6 p.m.
Join a celebration of arts, history, ingenuity, and collective resiliency for entertainment, food, giveaways, vendors and more. The event will be held at 11802 Buckeye Road, Cleveland, OH 44120.
Juneteenth Freedom Fest
Saturday, June 19, from noon to 10 p.m.
A collaborative of the Cleveland Public Library, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Karamu House and more, this event will feature renowned musicians, vendors and family friendly activities. Freedom Fest will be held on Mall C in Downtown Cleveland (300 Lakeside Ave. E, Cleveland, OH 44113).
Learn more at juneteenthcle.com.
Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park Field Day
Saturday, June 19, at 2 p.m.
Celebrate Juneteenth at the library with a fun-filled field day at the park (Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park and Playground is located on the grounds of the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus near the corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights). Join in the fun with games, crafts, and refreshments (while supplies last).
Land Before Rhyme - Juneteenth Show
Saturday, June 19, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Land Before Rhyme will host a Juneteenth show to "honor our ancestors with our truths, our stories, our hopes, our tragedies an triumphs with the spoken word."