Celebrating Juneteenth

Oberlin College invites you to participate in an all-day virtual commemoration of Juneteenth.

Juneteenth Events

Black Voices in the Conservatory

Event posterThe Oberlin College Black Musicians Guild extends a campus-wide invitation to join the webinar “Black Voices in the Conservatory” at 1 p.m. Friday, June 19. More than a dozen current and former students will discuss their experiences as Black musicians at Oberlin and in the wider music world.

Take part on Zoom or tune in on Facebook Live. Learn more on OCBMG’s Facebook page.

“Afterlives” Playlist and Discussion

IllustrationIn commemoration of Juneteenth, Afterlives of the Black Atlantic co-curators Matthew Rarey and Andrea Gyorody, together with faculty members Charles Peterson (Africana studies) and Meredith Gadsby (Africana studies and comparative American studies), have assembled a collaborative Spotify playlist inspired by the exhibition that examines the lasting effects of the transatlantic slave trade.

Listen now on Spotify and then join us for a virtual listening party and conversation on Juneteenth (Friday, June 19) at noon EDT. Register here for the group session. If you have questions, feedback, or songs you wish had been included, visit the Allen Memorial Art Museum's Facebook page and leave a comment.


A Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in Celebration of Juneteenth

A Reading of Fredrick Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

by Professor Charles Peterson

Juneteenth on Social Media

Join Oberlin College and our Libraries on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to learn key historical facts about several of Oberlin’s Black women alumnae and our historical role in suffrage and anti-slavery via the hashtags #OCJuneteenth and #OCLCelebratesJuneteenth.


“Racism, as an institution, is interwoven into the fabric of American culture.”

Associate Professor Meredith Gadsby in “Here's Why Juneteenth Matters,” Essence.com.

“Employers’ signal that Juneteenth is meant for celebration, not work, is a powerful message.”

Assistant Professor Tamika Nunley in “How to Move Corporate Juneteenth Holidays Beyond Virtue Signaling,” Fortune.com (subscription required).


The Voice of the Spirit

The Voice of the Spirit video cover, described in the page.SongFest’s “The Voice of the Spirit – The Negro Spiritual: An American Genre for All” was a conversation held this week with four internationally renowned African American Opera singers, including  Oberlin Conservatory Associate Professor of Voice Katherine Jolly. These singers and pedagogues discuss their musical heritage and upbringing, the negro spiritual, and the performance practice of this important music.

Watch The Voice of the Spirit

Harriet Gibbs Marshall

A youthful Harriet Gibbs Marshall in a formal pose

Conservatory Associate Dean Chris Jenkins discusses the life and accomplishments of music educator Harriet Gibbs Marshall, who in 1889 became the first African-American woman to graduate from Oberlin Conservatory.

Send Us Your Contribution

Faculty, staff, and students are invited to submit their own contribution to the Juneteenth website - a written reflection, a video, artwork, or any other materials that capture your engagement with this important day. Submissions will be accepted through June 30 and will be posted to the website as they are received.

With around 2,500 printed titles, the Anti-Slavery Collection at Oberlin College Libraries provides significant value to researchers of American anti-slavery movements.

Historical photo of 20 men standing together, holding their hats.
The Oberlin Rescuers at Cuyahoga County Jail, April 1859.
Photo credit: Courtesy of the Oberlin College Archives