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UNF presents virtual Juneteenth recognition ‘A Celebration of the Generations’

The University of North Florida honors Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, a special celebration that commemorates the end of chattel slavery in the United States. The observance promotes the ideals of liberation, justice and freedom for all people living in the United States.

UNF's African American Faculty and Staff Association (AAFSA) will present a virtual Juneteenth recognition, "A Celebration of the Generations," for all faculty, staff, and students to reflect on this historic event through music, poetry, and perspectives that reflect four generations of stories. The virtual event will take place from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 18. Faculty and staff can register via the webinar website.

Historically, President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation issued on January 1, 1863 did not mark the official end to the practice of slavery as many African descendants remained enslaved more than two years after the proclamation was made. Despite President Lincoln's declaration of freedom, the Union had to enforce emancipation in Confederate states.

In Texas, approximately 250,000 people were still being held in slavery, until June 19, 1865 when Union troops, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston to announce that the war had ended and that all of the enslaved were now free. Although slavery would not legally end in all states until the December 1865 ratification of the 13th Amendment, June 19 "Juneteenth" was the day when the last enslaved people in America were freed.

UNF's AAFSA aims to support the needs of all individuals with Black African ancestry, regardless of nationality, and to promote cultural, educational and civic activities within the UNF community.