On American Independence and Freedom: The Juneteenth Story
Friday, June 19
Watch the recorded program from June 19, 2020.
The story of the United States’ independence is well documented; on July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, asserting “all men are created equal” and are endowed with certain inalienable rights. However, these rights and the equality of citizenship were denied to those who were enslaved and of African descent. For them, freedom did not arrive with independence from the British; they would have to wait nearly one hundred more years for it.
On June 19, 1865, news that the Civil War had ended and of the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two years before, finally reached Galveston, Texas. This event is now commemorated as Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, considered the oldest celebration commemorating the ending of chattel enslavement in the United States. Join CHM assistant curators Julius L. Jones and Brittany Hutchinson and Field Foundation Fellow Angela Tate for a discussion on the legacy of Juneteenth, the event’s connections to Chicago, and the importance of remembering the story today.
Julius L. Jones
As an assistant curator at the Chicago History Museum, Julius is committed to using technology to tell new and inclusive stories about the past in compelling and innovative ways. Julius develops exhibition content, conducts research, seeks new acquisitions, and speaks on a variety of Chicago history topics. Julius is also a PhD candidate in the Department of History at The University of Chicago, where his scholarly interests include twentieth-century US cultural and social history, particularly the meanings of aspiration among racial and ethnic minorities, with a focus on Chicago.
As an assistant curator at the Chicago History Museum, Brittany specializes in telling Chicago’s diverse stories through the interpretation of material culture and cultural history. Brittany develops exhibition content, conducts research, seeks new acquisitions, and speaks on a variety of Chicago history topics. She holds a MA in museum studies and historic preservation from Morgan State University (2014) and a BA in anthropology from Wayne State University (2009).
Angela Tate is a doctoral student pursuing her PhD in history at Northwestern University. Her focus is in Black women’s art and politics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Angela was born in California and raised in the DC metropolitan area. Prior to moving to Chicago, she worked in a variety of archives and museums. As a Field Foundation Fellow, Angela works on reviewing grants in their grantmaking model of Justice, Art, Leadership Investment and Media & Storytelling.