This Sunday, June 19, we celebrate Juneteenth, the annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States after the Civil War.
On June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, Major General Gordon Grander announced the end of the Civil War and that the enslaved were free. This announcement, however, came two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. As many enslavers continued to hold enslaved people after the Emancipation Proclamation, Juneteenth became a symbolic date representing African American freedom and hope, and the end of slavery in the US.
Today, Juneteenth celebrations offer the opportunity to reflect and honor this day and acknowledge the work we must continue to do. We encourage you to take a moment and learn more about the meaning of Juneteenth and take advantage of the programming and events that are happening locally.
As we celebrate Juneteenth this year, it is important to understand the significance of this day as we continue to strive for social justice, work toward a more diverse and inclusive culture, and advance the mission of health equity.
For additional resources and information:
- NY Times article, Juneteenth: The History of a New Holiday
- The history of Juneteenth
List of local events this weekend:
- A Walk For Democracy and Justice
- Juneteenth in Grand Center – A Father’s Day Celebration and Family Day
- Juneteenth Pop-up Display
- Where to celebrate Juneteenth in St. Louis
In solidarity and celebration,
Victoria J. Fraser, MD
Adolphus Busch Professor of Medicine
Chair, Department of Medicine
Angela L. Brown, MD
Professor of Medicine
Vice Chair for Health Equity
Department of Medicine