Freedom Footprints: A Juneteenth journey through Elon’s Black history

Commemorate Juneteenth at Elon through an in-person or online journey of Black history and contemporary achievements at the university.

Members of the Elon University community are invited to celebrate Juneteenth through in-person and online activities on this important federal holiday.

Juneteenth, officially Juneteenth National Independence Day, is a federal holiday celebrated annually on June 19 to commemorate the end of slavery. The holiday aligns with the moment enslaved people in the United States were finally freed 159 years ago. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced that enslaved people were free, more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. This year marks the fourth year Juneteenth has been recognized as a federal holiday.

Elon students, faculty and staff, along with community members can engage in a self-guided walking tour or review site information online. The self-guided walking tour will feature six major points with informational signs at each stop. Each sign will include an introduction to the stopping point and a QR code that will go to a webpage with information about the stopping point and the entire tour. Participants will learn some of the lesser-known histories of the Black community at Elon to commemorate Juneteenth.

Elon will also host a Juneteenth lunch in LaRose Commons 200 featuring a Q&A, pop-up exhibit and a panel discussion. The panel will include Assistant Professor of History Amanda Kleintop and Digital Collections and Systems Librarian and Assistant Librarian Shaunta Alvarez. Coordinator of University Archives & Special Collections and Assistant Librarian Kelly Policelli will be moderating along with some prepared questions. This will also be an opportunity to get community feedback on History & Memory activities in the future. Lunch will be provided and will be first come, first served. Registration is recommended.

This commemoration event is sponsored by the Black Lumen Project, Elon University Archives and Special Collections, the Committee on Elon History and Memory and the Office of Inclusive Excellence Education and Development.