On Juneteenth

Dear Ospreys,

As we near the end of the academic year, we have a lot to celebrate and reflect on, including our newest national holiday, Juneteenth. Also known as Freedom Day, Juneteenth was officially made a national holiday in 2021, but it has been recognized and celebrated in Texas and many other states for generations.

Juneteenth commemorates the date when the last enslaved African Americans in the United States were declared free. Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19th, 1865, where they began to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation that President Abraham Lincoln issued on Jan. 1, 1862. Texas was the last Confederate state forced to free enslaved people of color.

Book cover: On Juneteenth

To help share this history with you, the Diversity Programming Board is donating 30 copies of the bestselling book “On Juneteenth” by Annette Gordon-Reed for RCC students. We invite you to stop by the Library on any RCC campus to pick up a free copy. An additional 10 copies were donated to the RCC Library collection and will be available for checkout by students, faculty and staff.

This anniversary is also a poignant reminder that, although we have made great strides in the fight for civil rights, the freedoms afforded to Black Americans are still not equitable. Whether it’s disparities in higher education, mass incarceration or simply having the freedom to move about safely in public, we still see the evidence of the “The Other America” referenced by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his famous speech.

As we continue on our path toward equity, we encourage you to learn more about the significance and importance of this holiday, and how we can honor it today. In addition to the book mentioned above, below are some additional educational resources.

Congratulations to those of you who are finishing your studies. We look forward to seeing you at commencement!


Lucia Bartscher (she, her, ella)
EDI & Lead Title IX Coordinator
Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
(541) 956-7124

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Juneteenth Resources