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Join BSFO for Juneteenth festivities

June 19 is Juneteenth — the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. The Black Staff and Faculty Organization (BSFO) invites all employees to recognize this important day by joining together for an afternoon potluck and board games.

Mark your calendar to celebrate with BSFO

What: Juneteenth Celebration – Potluck and games

When: Wednesday, June 19, from 12 to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Lobby 1, Franklin Building, Oakland

Bring your favorite board game and a potluck dish to share. Sign up for the potluck. (Everyone is welcome.)

The history of Juneteenth

Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 because it was on that date in 1865 when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued a proclamation in Galveston, Texas, that proclaimed all slaves were free. As historians will note, this occurred two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation and well after the death of President Lincoln. White landowners in Texas, who were generally aware that the slaves had been freed, held this knowledge back as long as possible — until the arrival of government representatives — to continue exploiting black laborers.

The holiday of Juneteenth grew and spread throughout Texas, despite the resistance black leaders often faced in racist communities. The tradition slowly made its way around the country as black Texans emigrated from their home state.

The national prominence of Juneteenth grew recognizably after the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.  Civil Rights leaders encouraged delegates who had planned to attend King’s Poor People’s March to return home on June 19 to celebrate Juneteenth in their communities. Today, 43 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have recognized Juneteenth as a state holiday, ceremonial holiday or day of observance.

For more information about the history of Juneteenth, visit “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.”

About the BFSO

The Black Staff and Faculty Organization (BSFO) includes all people of African descent. All UCOP staff members are invited to participate. For more information, or to join the listserv, please contact Latascha Magness-Cotton or Ghanya Thomas.

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