On American Independence and Freedom: The Juneteenth Story

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Friday June 19

4:00 PM  –  4:45 PM

The story of the United States' independence is well documented; on July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, asserting “all men are created equal” and are endowed with certain inalienable rights. However, these rights and the equality of citizenship were denied to those who were enslaved and of African descent. For them, freedom did not arrive with independence from the British; they would have to wait nearly one hundred more years for it. 
On June 19, 1865, news that the Civil War had ended and of the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two years before, finally reached Galveston, Texas. This event is now commemorated as Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, considered the oldest celebration commemorating the ending of chattel enslavement in the United States. Join CHM assistant curators Julius L. Jones and Brittany Hutchinson and Field Foundation Fellow Angela Tate for a discussion on the legacy of Juneteenth, the event's connections to Chicago, and the importance of remembering the story today.