Conversations on Race, Slavery and Freedom

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.

On Case Western Reserve's Day of Observance, esteemed members of the university community share their perspectives on race, slavery, freedom and so much more.

We hope these conversations and reflections will spur learning, discussion and action.

Introduction to a Conversation on Race, Slavery and Freedom

Please begin your journey with a short welcome from 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 Ben Vinson III 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

Noel 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

Joy R. 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.