June 19


Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, two months after the Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Va., Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. General Granger’s announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued nearly two and a half years earlier, on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln.

The holiday is also called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.”

References: New York Times, Texas State Library and Archives Commission


Juneteenth Celebration with Bay Path University

Springfield Technical Community College partnered with Bay Path University this weekend to celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday celebrated June 19th to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.

The event on the Bay Path campus in Longmeadow drew coverage from Western Mass News and WWLP. The festive atmosphere at the Bay Path campus included music, games, a read-aloud and more.

Dr. Shai Butler, Vice President of Advancement and External Affairs, spoke to Western Mass News about the event. They asked what it means to celebrate and honor her ancestors on Juneteenth.

“I lift them up every day, but today, in particular, to pause and think about what they went through and think about the hardships that they endured, and just to say thank you,” Dr. Butler said.

The theme of the event was “Voices of Freedom.”

WWLP also offered coverage of the event, noting that STCC and Bay Path are two institutions of higher learning that embrace diversity. The event included faculty and staff and members of the community.

Dr. Butler told WWLP that STCC was happy to partner with Bay Path and thanked the university’s president, Sandra J. Doran, for inviting STCC.

“We are here to celebrate voices of freedom and celebrate Black emancipation from slavery,” Dr. Butler said. Other area events will be planned this week to celebrate Juneteenth, which will formally be observed June 19.

STCC President John B. Cook, Ph.D. Recognition of Juneteenth

Dear STCC Community,

On Sunday, the nation recognizes Juneteenth Independence Day, which has been proclaimed as a Massachusetts holiday.  Notwithstanding the Emancipation Proclamation, Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the United States, and President Biden signed a bill last Juneteenth also creating a national holiday.  On Monday, we will have the opportunity to enjoy a day off from work.  

Over the long weekend, I invite you to pause and reflect on our nation’s history.  Juneteenth marks a time to appreciate the contributions of those enslaved, and is also a time to honor the achievements and contributions of our Black and African American students, staff, faculty and community partners; together we move toward a brighter future.

In the words of a past president:

Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible—and there is still so much work to do.– Barack Obama


John B. Cook, Ph.D.

The Juneteenth Speaker Series at the Storrowton Village Museum recognizes the historic impact of the Juneteenth National Independence Day. The STCC Office of Multicultural Affairs collaborated with Storrowton Village & Museum and the Eastern States Exposition (Big E) on these events.

Significance of Juneteenth in History and the Present

Watch on YouTube

The Significance of Juneteenth in History and the Present features scholar J. Anthony Guillory, Ph.D., professor of American History, African American History, and African American Literature at Springfield Technical Community College. 

Land Ownership, Generational Wealth, & Inequality

Watch on YouTube

Land Ownership, Generational Wealth, & Inequality is a panel discussion led by moderator J. Anthony Guillory Ph.D and features Nedra Lee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UMass Boston, and John Diffley, Esq., Professor of History at Springfield Technical Community College.