What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth marks an effective end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. — History.com

What’s happening?

View the Juneteenth Lecture

The Intercultural Diversity Center and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute presented a virtual lecture about Juneteenth by Charles Woods, III. Woods addressed the history of Juneteenth, its impact and ways to celebrate and support Juneteenth. Woods, III, who holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Xavier University of Louisiana, is the education director and trainer for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. He travels throughout Alabama teaching people of all ages and backgrounds about the lessons learned from the Civil Rights Movement.

Did you know?

Flag with white star in middle, white starburst outline behind the star and red at bottom and blue at top
The Juneteenth Flag

There is an official Juneteenth Flag. The banner has a bursting white star in the middle and is a symbolic  representation of the end of slavery in the United States. The flag is the creation of activist Ben Haith, founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation (NJCF). He designed the flag in 1997 with the help of collaborators and Boston-based illustrator Lisa Jeanne Graf. The flag has been revised twice since its creation. — CNN

On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed legislation into law establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a U.S. federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey authorized Juneteenth as a holiday for Alabama state employees as of June 2021.

The University of Alabama recognized the first official Juneteenth holiday in 2021 and has since added it to the University’s list of annual holidays.

Campus Programming and Events

Juneteenth: Freedom Day Exhibition

June 1-30 | Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Intercultural Diversity Center, 2100 Student Center
Cultural Engagement/Educational Engagement

In recognition of the Juneteenth holiday, the Intercultural Diversity Center presents the Juneteenth: Freedom Day exhibition. Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It is also often observed for celebrating African American culture. This exhibition explores its history, key figures, its impact within the United States and the African American community, ways to get involved and more. For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at ua_idc@ua.edu.

woman wearing black chef's jacket
Chef Kimberly McNair Brock

Juneteenth Virtual Cooking Demonstration with Chef Kimberly McNair Brock

Tuesday, June 7 | 7 p.m. | Virtual
Cultural Exploration/Social Enrichment

In partnership with the Alabama Panhellenic Association, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and The University of Alabama’s Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Intercultural Diversity Center presents a special virtual cooking demonstration in celebration of Juneteenth. This event features Chef Kimberly McNair Brock, owner of Bitty’s Living Kitchen in Birmingham, Alabama. Chef Kimberly, CHHC, AADP, is a certified holistic health coach who not only shares her expertise as a health coach, but also as an educator and chef promoting “Holistic Farmacy.” Chef Kimberly will cook crab fried rice and discuss the history of Juneteenth, the importance of cooking in the African American community and how cooking builds traditions. Variation of the menu for vegetarian and vegan options will be provided.  The first 30 registrations will receive an ingredients bag. Registration is required. For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at ua_idc@ua.edu.

flyer with event info Tour of Stillman College

Wednesday, June 15 | Noon | Stillman College
Cultural Engagement/Educational Engagement/Social Enrichment

The Intercultural Diversity Center and Stillman College will offer a special tour of the only historically Black college in the City of Tuscaloosa. Participants will learn about Stillman’s rich history and its resources, collaborative programs and volunteer opportunities; and positively support Juneteenth.

Stillman College is committed to fostering academic excellence, providing opportunities for diverse populations, and maintaining a strong tradition of preparing students for leadership and service.

Registration is required. For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at ua_idc@ua.edu.

Juneteenth info in white on a black background with red, yellow and green color blocks in two of the cornersJuneteenth: Freedom Day  Presentation

Thursday, June 16 | Noon-1 p.m. | Intercultural Diversity Center, 2100 Student Center
Educational Engagement/Cultural Exploration

In observance of Juneteenth, the Intercultural Diversity Center will host a special PowerPoint presentation focusing on the history of Juneteenth from 1856 to present day, celebrations and practices, reading lists and more. This presentation is being offered in collaboration with Safe Zone Resource Center, the Alabama Panhellenic Association and the National Pan-Hellenic Council. For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at ua_idc@ua.edu.

Tuscaloosa Celebrations

Festival, Parade and More to Celebrate Juneteenth in Tuscaloosa (The Tuscaloosa News, June 15, 2022)

black, red, yellow and green background with info on topNAACP Events

The University of Alabama’s chapter and the Tuscaloosa Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will host a series of events to commemorate Juneteenth in Tuscaloosa. The NAACP, a civil rights organization formed in 1909 as an interracial endeavor to advance justice for African Americans, works “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.” For more information about local events, contact Lisa Young at lyoung@ccs.ua.edu.

Financial Literacy & Home Buying Seminar

Thursday, June 16 | 5-7:30 p.m. | McDonald Hughes Center, 3101 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Tuscaloosa
Educational Engagement/Cultural Exploration

This seminar will give participants the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge about the homebuying process and offer valuable tools, information and resources about financial literacy.

Youth & Senior Forum

Friday, June 17 | 5-7 p.m. | Building 700, Shelton State Community College–C.A. Fredd Campus, 3401 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Tuscaloosa
Educational Engagement/Cultural Exploration

This program will consist of panel discussions and presentations on identified topics that negatively affect the African American community and ways to offer positive outcomes.

Parade and Community Cookout in the Park

Saturday, June 18

Parade Lineup: 9:30 a.m. | Westlawn Middle School, 1715 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Tuscaloosa

Community Cookout: 10 a.m. | Palmore Park, 3701 Fosters Ferry Road, Tuscaloosa
Educational Engagement/Cultural Exploration

This celebration includes a parade, family cookout and games. The event is open to all groups and organizations in Tuscaloosa or surrounding counties. The parade will begin at Westlawn Middle School and end at Plum Grove Baptist Church. Free food and entertainment will be provided.

Tuscaloosa Black Heritage Festival

Tuscaloosa Black Heritage Festival, which includes musicians, artists and more, will be June 19 beginning at noon at Snow Hinton Park. The family friendly event is open to everyone. For more information call 205-872-2201 or visit the website.

Stillman College Black Male Initiative Juneteenth Weekend

Stillman College’s Black Male Initiative will host its first Juneteenth Weekend celebration June 17-19 on the campus. BMI, a student-focused leadership and service organization at Stillman, has created its Juneteenth Weekend to not only celebrate the societal and cultural significance of Juneteenth but also to engage younger generations and strengthen the bond between Stillman and  surrounding communities. Events include a Dust Bowl 5-on-5 B-Ball Classic, Dadication and Black Arts Festival, and church on the Quad followed by a Father’s Day brunch. For more information, visit the BMI Juneteenth webpage.

National Events

The Juneteenth Foundation, a 501(C)3 organization founded by professionals championing the celebration of Juneteenth as a federal holiday, will host its virtual Freedom Festival, which includes panel discussions, a career fair and a concert June 16-19.

Juneteenth History and Celebrations

Juneteenth: A celebration? A remembrance of horrible times? Black voices discuss the federal holiday (The Tuscaloosa News/Nashville Tennessean)

4 Ways Your Company Can Support Juneteenth (interview with Dr. Hilary Green, associate professor of history in the UA Department of Gender and Race Studies, June 15, 2022, in Inc.com)

Juneteenth videos, African American family history, recipes, youth activities, reading list (National Museum of African American History and Culture)

History of Juneteenth (History.com)

What is Juneteenth? (PBS.org)

This Is How We Juneteenth (NYTimes.com)

National Registry Juneteenth Organizations and Supporters (Juneteenth.com)

How Industry Leaders are Moving to Embody the Spirit of Juneteenth (Forbes.com)

For Black People in Corporate America, Juneteenth is About More Than a Day Off (Forbes.com)

Senate Unanimously Approves a Bill to Make Juneteenth a Public Holiday (NPR.org)

Juneteenth Finally an Official State Holiday in South Dakota (AP News)