University of Chicago celebrates Juneteenth with special events | Chicago Reel

This year, members of the University of Chicago community organized events to celebrate Juneteenth, the annual celebration that is now in its second year as a US federal holiday.

Juneteenth traces its origins to the reading of “General Orders No. 3” in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, which brought news of freedom to slaves years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Today, Juneteenth is recognized as an Independence Day for Black Americans and a reminder of ongoing struggles for racial justice. Below are a few ways to celebrate, both this weekend and in the weeks to come.

friday june 17

The Marine Biology Laboratory will host a conference with Brian Chad Stark, which will discuss what black American independence looks like and challenge the public’s perception of American history. Starks is the founder and CEO of BCS and Associates, a consulting firm focused on social justice and equity.

The call will be broadcast beginning at 7:00 p.m. CT from MBL’s Clapp Auditorium. Virtual registration is available.

Saturday June 18

The Logan Center for the Arts will host “Art & Agency,” a symposium on African-American quilting presented in collaboration with Africa International House. The free event will examine the quilting tradition from Africa to America, and the ways in which quilts and quilting define black social, economic and cultural agency.

The hybrid event will begin at 2:30 p.m. CT and registration is required for in-person participation. Live recording is also available.

Sunday June 19

Just west of the UChicago campus, the DuSable Museum of African American History will host a community-wide Juneteenth BBQ & Block Party, featuring activities for all ages and live performances, including appearances artists Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa. The day-long event begins at 11 a.m. and is supported in part by the University’s Office of Civic Engagement.

The Black in Academia Resource Group at the University of Chicago sponsors the Black Arts Festival from noon to 5 p.m. Held in the courtyard of the Logan Center, the event will feature local black artists, food, music, shopping and more.

Saturday June 25

Arts + Public Life’s L1 Creative Business Accelerator + Retail Store will host “Good Vibes on Garfield”, an outdoor arts market showcasing unique products made primarily by creative South Side artists and entrepreneurs. The market opens at noon, with DJ Ca$h Era playing throughout the day.

Launched in 2020 by UChicago, the L1 Creative Business Accelerator program supports local Black-owned businesses. This one-day event is presented by Arts + Public Life of UChicago in partnership with Proximity, the social enterprise arm of The Silver Room, with generous sponsorship from the Office of the Provost, Diversity & Inclusion.

Sunday June 26

The Logan Center’s digital storytelling initiative will show a series of films to celebrate Juneteenth, featuring selections from the history of black independent cinema. “Screening Juneteenth” will debut at the Logan Center (Room 201) on June 26 with daughters of dusta 1991 movie Julie Dash. Selected for preservation in the National Film Registry, the film tells the story of three generations of a coastal Gullah community at the dawn of the 20th century.

The film series will continue with Cane River (July 10), Emma Mae (July 17), sleep with anger (July 24) and Miss Juneteenth (July 31). Catering discussions will follow each screening.


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