Preview | Faculty groups hosts Juneteenth celebration

Zach Johnson | @ZachJohnsonCW, News Editor

The UA Black Faculty and Staff Association will host a series of events in celebration of Juneteenth beginning Thursday. 

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union troops freed people still enslaved in Texas months after the Civil War ended. 

The speaker events will be broadcast live on BFSA’s Facebook page

Thursday, June 10

On Thursday, June 10 at 6 p.m., Reynaldo Anderson will present “Re-envisioning Freedom through Afrofuturism.” 

Anderson, an associate professor of communication at Harris-Stowe State University, is also the executive director of the Black Speculative Arts Movement, a network of creatives, intellectuals and artists working in the Afrofuturism movement. 

“Anderson is one of the lead researchers on Afrofuturism, which is the cultural aesthetics — and a mixture of philosophy, science and history — that explore the intersection of the African diaspora with technology,” said Nikita Harris, chair of BFSA’s Juneteenth celebration. 

Monday, June 14

Cynthia Gooch-Grayson, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at Metropolitan Community College, will present “Juneteenth and Genealogy: The Exploration of the Black Family” on Monday, June 14 at 6 p.m. 

“The primary basis of Grayson’s presentation is in order to truly be free we must have knowledge of the history of our Black families,” Harris said in a statement to UA News. “She’ll also talk about some very basic tools people can use to research their family history and genealogy.”

Saturday, June 19

On Juneteenth, two public celebrations hosted by different groups will take place at Snow Hinton Park between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Kentuck Park between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. 

In addition to its speaker series, BFSA is promoting a petition to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Currently, 47 states and Washington, D.C. recognize Juneteenth as a holiday. Three states — Texas, New York and Virginia — have made the holiday a paid day off.