Shawnee Community College holds Juneteenth celebration

Shawnee Community College celebrates Juneteenth
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 9:52 AM CDT
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ULLIN, Ill. (KFVS) - Shawnee Community College held a Juneteenth celebration on Monday, June 20 at 11:30 a.m.

The program was held to remind students and staff about the importance of Freedom Day, the day in 1865 when black slaves in Texas learned of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln two years before.

“We wanted to make sure our faculty and students knew the history of it and why it was so important to have that as a holiday and to know more about it and not just the fact that it was a day off,” said Executive Director of Human Resources Emily Forthman.

Dozens of faculty, staff, and students sat in the college’s cafeteria to hear Dr. Joseph Smith speak about Juneteenth and black history in the United States.

“In this presentation, we employ a historical anthropology of the color line that accounts for some of the social history of white supremacy after the end of slavery in the united states,” said Dr. Smith.

Forthman says that celebrating the day is good, but understanding the deeper meaning is important.

“There’s so many things that they went through throughout the years that brought them to this day to be able to make it a holiday that it really something we really want to celebrate,” explained Forthman.

According to the college, the Cultural Awareness Team decorated the main campus in Ullin in preparation for Freedom Day on Sunday, June 19. A PowerPoint presentation was also displayed in the Commons area.

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