Campus News

Celebrating Juneteenth in Oberlin

June 15, 2021

Office of Communications

Children dancing at Juneteenth celebration
Photo credit: John Seyfried

Saturday, June 19, is Juneteenth in America. Long celebrated as an Independence Day in the African American community, Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Originally recognized in Texas more than 40 years ago, Juneteenth is today celebrated in 47 states. Although Ohio has observed Juneteenth since 2009, it was in December of 2020 that it became recognized as an official holiday for all Ohioans.

In honor of this significant milestone in American history, the college has put together some resources and a list of local events. We encourage faculty, staff, and students to take advantage of this unique opportunity. We hope everyone is able to reflect on our work together to end structural racism, strengthen our commitments to being anti-racist, and take pride in what we have and will continue to accomplish as a college, as we undertake this important and essential work in the years to come.

ABUSA Juneteenth block party, Friday

In partnership with the college’s Juneteenth Committee, ABUSUA is hosting a Juneteenth Block Party on Friday, June 18 from 3 to 7 p.m. in Tappan Square near the bandstand. Please join us for food, fun, and festivities.

Light In The Tunnel: Reflections on Freedom, 8 to 10 p.m. Friday in Wurtzel Theatre

Light in the Tunnel: Reflections of Freedom is a festival of praise, joy, and community, highlighting the incredible bounds that the multitude of departments and students have made in Black art. 

Juneteenth Oberlin 2021—African Americans: The Struggle, The Fight for Freedom, And Still Yet Invisible, Saturday

Join the Oberlin Community for a celebration of Juneteenth from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 19, in Tappan Square for a parade, food, games, and live music. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., the festivities will move to Westwood Cemetery. The city’s only cemetery opened on Morgan Street in 1864, and is a final resting place of a number of black and white soldiers who died in the Civil War, as well as former slaves who came to Oberlin on the Underground Railroad.

Free trolley service to Lorain County’s Juneteenth Blues Fest, Saturday (2:30 to 6:45 p.m.)

The Bonner Center, in partnership with Lorain County Mobility Management, is sponsoring free transportation between Oberlin and the Lorain waterfront to encourage community members to participate in both Oberlin and Lorain Juneteenth events. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome! Pick-up and drop-off in Oberlin will be outside Wilder Hall, with a drop-off option at the end of the day at Oberlin's Westwood Cemetery for the MAAFA observance. See the Juneteenth website  for the departure schedule.

View the events and resources on the Juneteenth website.

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