SWLAW Blog | Diversity

19 June Juneteenth Freedom Day

June 17, 2022

Southwestern Celebrates Juneteenth 2022

Southwestern celebrates Juneteenth! Today marks the day emancipation reached enslaved people in the furthest reaches of the Southern United States. 

Juneteenth is an opportunity for all members of the Southwestern community – across race, religion, and nationality - to consider the enduring legacy of American slavery. It’s a day to deepen our commitment to antiracism and reflect upon the challenge of attaining racial equity in a nation whose foundational bedrock was laid by millions of enslaved people of African descent.

The fight for justice and inclusivity is central to Southwestern’s mission and culture. We encourage all students, faculty, and staff to use this day to reflect on our history and prepare for another year of action to help combat racism and achieve justice for all.

Four African Americans dressed up for an Emancipation Day celebration, June 19, 1900 held in "East Woods" on East 24th Street in Austin. Credit: Austin History Center.
 Emancipation Day celebration, June 19, 1900, held in "East Woods" on East 24th Street in Austin. Credit: Austin History Center.

The origins of Juneteenth

On January 1, 1863, enslaved and free African Americans awaited news that the Emancipation Proclamation had taken effect. That midnight, prayers were answered as all enslaved people in the Confederate States were declared legally free.

But not all enslaved Americans were emancipated that evening — the Emancipation Proclamation could not be enforced in regions under Confederate control. Thus, Black men and women in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas remained in bondage.

Over two years later, freedom finally arrived. On June 19, 1865, 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, declaring the 250,000 enslaved black people in the state free by executive decree. This day came to be known as "Juneteenth" by the newly freed people in Texas. 


Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth

Purple text "Attend a Los Angeles Event" in transparent white box over a sunny skyline of Los Angeles and palm trees

Attend a Los Angeles Event

SoulfulofNoise Presents: Juneteenth Festival is a free celebration dedicated to uplifting the entire community. The event features live music performances, a barbershop, entrepreneurship workshop, health and wellness activation, local vendors, a food truck, fun, and games!  
Sunday, June 19, 2022, 12:00 – 6:00 P.M.


Visit the California African American Museum for a farmer’s market, sound bath, reading hour and children’s art activities. You may visit the museum after the prosperity market to learn more about black culture. The event and museum admission are free.
Sunday, June 19, 2022, 11:00 A.M. – 3: 00 P.M.

The Juneteenth x L.A. Black History Festival at Westchester Recreational Park will have live performances, panel discussions with African American authors, a marketplace, and a creative zone for kids. 
Sunday, June 19, 2022, 10:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.

Soak in the sun while enjoying food, live music, and sound baths at House of Mavens Presents: Be Black! Admission is free and all donations will go to the Heart of Los Angeles, a nonprofit that runs after-school programs. 
Sunday, June 19, 2022, 1:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.


Purple text "Support Black-owned businesses and creators" in transparent white box over dark moody neon coffee shop sign

Support Black-owned businesses and creators

Secret Los Angeles has curated an excellent list of 30 Black-owned small businesses that you can support right now! Since the pandemic has disproportionately affected Black communities, these independents need support more than ever. Check out the list!


Purple text "Watch a film or show that celebrates Juneteenth" in transparent white box over film slate, film camera, and film reel

Watch a film or show that celebrates Juneteenth

Buzzfeed's curated list of empowering films and television to watch that celebrate Juneteenth includes Atlanta, Insecure, Judas and the Black Messiah, and many more brilliant movies and series. Check out the list!