Juneteenth celebration on campus today

Sarah Weaver News Reporter

Event will honor anniversary of end of slavery

In celebration of Juneteenth, the anniversary of the end of slavery in the U.S. and liberation of African Americans, the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center (LBHBCC) will be hosting a celebration in the Memorial Union Quad tonight at 5 p.m.

The event will feature guest speakers who will talk about the significance of the holiday, including Barry Jerkins, the president of the Corvallis/Albany branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Angel Harris, who will give opening remarks and provide historical context about Juneteenth.

According to the Juneteenth web page, the holiday dates to June 19, 1865, two years after slavery was abolished by President Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863.

“We open with history because it’s important to remember history,” said Julia Shields, leadership liaison and Juneteenth event coordinator.

The closing remarks will focus on keeping attendees motivated for the future, and will discuss social justice as well as fighting injustice.

Juneteenth will have an atmosphere much like a family reunion or barbecue, Shields said, and the event will focus on building a community and celebrating the future.

“We build community by having games and activities for all ages to play,” Shields said.

The LBHBCC originally printed 100 dinner tickets, but there will be dinner tickets available for purchase at the event for students and community members who may not have been able purchase them before hand.

While the event is being hosted by the LBHBCC, it is also put on in collaboration with other groups, including the Black Student Union and the Black Graduate Student Association.

According to Director of the LBHBCC, Terrance Harris, while Juneteenth falls on June 19, Juneteenth will be celebrated on campus tonight due to school not being in session on the actual holiday.

Despite this, OSU has been hosting Juneteenth celebrations for at least the past five to 10 years, Harris said.

In addition to the live speakers and food, Oregon State University’s Juneteenth celebration will also have activities and games like kickball and football, as well as music, Harris said.

The aspect of community building is a significant part of the holiday and celebration, especially as time goes on, Harris said.

“Although we have overcome slavery in some aspects, we still have some work to do especially in our community,” Harris said.

Harris emphasized that even though school will not be in session on Juneteenth, there are Juneteenth celebrations held across the country and there will be Juneteenth events hosted by the Corvallis/Albany branch of the NAACP that community members can attend.

The Corvallis/Albany branch of the NAACP will be hosting their own Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18, at the Thompson Shelter at Avery Park from 1 to 4 p.m.

“We’re just going to talk about the importance of this date and where we are now over 150 years later,” Harris said.

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