June 19, or Juneteenth, which is also known as Liberation Day or Emancipation Day, will be marked by the Columbia community with a day off on Friday, June 18, for all students, faculty, and staff.
Although the holiday has been celebrated in parts of the United States since the late 1800s, if you are unfamiliar with the holiday, you are not alone. Now’s the time to pull up and dig in to better understand the history, importance, and, yes, joy, of Juneteenth. Columbia News enlisted faculty, staff, and students from across the university to answer some of your questions about this momentous holiday.
Watch the full documentary above as faculty, students, and staff share their personal connections to Juneteenth and place the holiday into historical context. Or listen to clips below to understand why this day is so important.
What Is Juneteenth?