Celebrating Juneteenth

Carthage College is proud to observe Juneteenth, the day in 1865 that enslaved Black people in Texas were notified of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, granting them their freedom.

Each year since 1865, June 19 has been a day to celebrate the historic moment when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved Black people that they were free — more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation took effect. On that day, Texas became the last location in the United States to free the last remaining enslaved people.

Carthage College joins Black communities across America in celebrating this important day. What began as a day of independence has become a testament to the strength and resilience of Black Americans as they continue their fight for equality.

We asked our community: What does Juneteenth mean to you?

Michele Hancock

“Juneteenth is more important than ever as a day to remember the horrific impact of enslavement and celebrate the achievements of African-Americans despite the violence and cruelty inflicted on people who built America’s economy and symbolic structures. This day commemorates when the state of Texas proclaimed the federal emancipation of enslaved people, becoming the last state in the union to do so. It is a symbolic Emancipation Day for African-Americans that speaks to our resiliency as a people and reminds all Americans how freedom and justice are still unequal for Black Americans and continue to be denied through the structural and institutional racism in our society.”
— Michele Hancock, Professor of Practice in Education; Director, Urban Teacher Preparation Program; Director, ACT Program

Philip Hunter '24, former BSU president
“Juneteenth is a day where we remind ourselves of the gruesome history of enslavement and continuous oppression of African Americans; we also celebrate the achievements and the excellence of African Americans despite the challenges that they continue to face. Juneteenth symbolizes freedom and hope for African Americans. It should inspire the future generation to keep fighting for change and the same freedoms and liberties that all Americans should be entitled to have and enjoy. When we understand the value and importance of human life, especially African American lives, we will start understanding each other and live in unity and in love, which we are still fighting for. This is why Juneteenth is so important because of the need to understand our history, the need for change within African American communities, and the need for celebrating the excellence that African Americans bring to this world.”
— Philip Hunter ’24, BSU President
Siovahn Williams
“Juneteenth is the symbolism of freedom for Blacks in America. Though most Black Americans celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July, nowadays, we were not yet truly free until nearly 90 years later. The true independence day for Blacks is not the 4th of July, but instead June 19, 1865. I say it is symbolic because not all slaves were free on June 19, 1865, and Black Americans are still fighting to enjoy the same freedoms afforded to all Americans.”
— Siovahn Williams, Adjunct Instructor, Education; Program Manager, Urban Teacher Preparation Program

2022 Community Juneteenth Events

June 11-18

Racine’s Juneteenth Week of Celebration
All week, 601 Caron Butler Drive Racine, Wis.
The Juneteenth Celebration is a free, family-friendly event and is open to the public! This year is a full week of musical performances, basketball games, children’s activities, food, and more that will make for an enjoyable day of celebration for the entire family. Stay tuned for more info on the City of Racine, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department’s Facebook page

June 11-25

Mahogany Gallery presents ‘Juneteenth Day: A Retrospective’
Various dates, 1422 Washington Ave., Racine, Wis. 
This exhibit commemorates, celebrates, and honors the 40+ year tradition of Juneteenth Day celebrations in our communities. The exhibition will be a creative and photographic journey of Juneteenth, its meaning to our local communities, the historical impacts, and the everyday people who celebrate the tradition of the true “Independence Day of Black Americans.” The exhibit features written and visual narratives of the origins of Juneteenth Day celebrations in Racine and Milwaukee. Between June 11 and 25, join Mahogany Gallery for an opening reception, children’s art classes, and an artist talk. 
Learn more and see all events

June 18

Juneteenth Journey 
10 a.m.-4 p.m., Waukegan History Museum 1917 North Sheridan Road Waukegan, Ill.
Attend this event to participate in a guided bus tour of historic African American sites throughout Lake County, Illinois.
Learn more and register

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Resources

We live and work in a richly diverse world. At Carthage, we strive to enhance the diversity and equity of our community and together to create an ever more enlightened and inclusive environment that will positively impact the world. The Carthage community is committed to fostering integrity, civility, and justice. Aiming to learn from each other, we reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination toward underrepresented groups.

Learn more about Equity and Inclusion at Carthage



Learn more about Juneteenth

The History of Juneteenth



Podcasts & Videos