Juneteenth is a day in which we honor our roots, personally, as a community, and as a nation. It is a time during which we can continue to learn from our roots, our history, and emerge stronger in the future we are building together, at BMCC.
Juneteenth recognizes the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. On June 19, 1865 — two years after President Lincoln declared all enslaved persons to be free — a U.S. Army general rode into the town of Galveston, Texas and proclaimed freedom for enslaved individuals who had not yet experienced enforcement of Lincoln’s proclamation.
Many of us have celebrated Juneteenth with our families and neighbors for decades, even generations. President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law in 2020, and at that time this important federal holiday became part of CUNY’s diversity calendar and a recognized holiday at BMCC.
At the heart of Juneteenth is delayed freedom and a delay in justice. Today, we see systemic racism and inequality across our nation. By employing education as an effective tool, we have the capacity to dismantle all systems of inequality to create a true democracy.
I encourage you to read more about the importance of Juneteenth, and how it relates to our collective struggles today with equal rights throughout our nation.
On Monday, June 19, as our tapestry of communities at BMCC reflect on Juneteenth in their different ways, let the triumph of Juneteenth validate our continued and tireless efforts to advance equity, socioeconomic mobility, and justice through the liberating power of education.
Anthony E. Munroe
President, Borough of Manhattan Community College