June, 19 2020
Dear LIM College Community,
As the world continues to grapple with ongoing violence and discrimination that disproportionately impacts Black individuals and communities, LIM College seeks to uplift and amplify Black voices and experiences.
Today, I write to acknowledge and celebrate Juneteenth. Juneteenth marks our country’s second Independence Day. Though it has long been celebrated among the African American community, it is a history that has been marginalized and still remains largely unknown to the wider public.
The date was June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect and the last remaining enslaved African-Americans were freed from bondage in Texas, the most remote of the Confederate States. Juneteenth is celebrated annually as the oldest nationally-celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States.
More than a century and a half later, African-Americans still face racism and oppression in the United States, as well as other parts of the world, as further evidenced by recent events. We have come quite far, but clearly still have a long way to go in eradicating racial inequities and in achieving equality and social justice.
In commemoration of Juneteenth, I invite all students, faculty, staff, and alumni, today, to reflect and/or learn more about Juneteenth, its rich history, and how you can support the culture, heritage, and progress of Black people.
Resources that may be helpful include, but are not limited to:
In recognition of Juneteenth and to further dialogue within the LIM community, I would like to invite you to join us in reading and engaging in James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time. The book, originally published in 1963, is composed of two previously published essays, "My Dungeon Shook" and "Letter from a Region of My Mind," that you can find free online through their original publishers by clicking on the above links. You are also able to order the book online.
To join us for the ensuing conversation, please register here and you will receive the Zoom link for the book club discussion on Tuesday, July 7 at 3:00pm EDT. We hope that you will be able to join us, if not, we will see you at future events.
Elizabeth S. Marcuse