UNC Pembroke celebrates Juneteenth

Dr. Misti Nicole Harper

In celebration of Juneteenth, the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is excited to announce that Dr. Misti Nicole Harper will deliver a lecture titled “Absolute Equality”––The Story of Juneteenth and the Making of African American Independence" on Monday, June 19 at 1 p.m.

The event will be held virtually via Zoom. To participate, visit uncp.zoom.us/j/92597006294?pwd=ZFVacUpGbVpYNmkxMmlZa0RKcnl6dz09

Dr. Harper will discuss the historical origins of Juneteenth and how this initially Texan celebration that began in 1866 swiftly became national as African Americans across the United States memorialized Black liberation. Dr. Harper also investigates the recent federal recognition of Juneteenth and what this gesture means for broader U.S. engagement with its complicated racist history and the progress toward an antiracist future.

Juneteenth or Juneteenth Independence Day is a federal holiday commemorating enslaved African Americans' emancipation in the United States. Originating in Galveston, Texas, the holiday has been celebrated annually on June 19 since 1866. Juneteenth commemorates the June 19, 1865, anniversary of the arrival of the Union army in Texas and General Order No. 3, which proclaimed "all slaves are free" in the state. The announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 during the U.S. Civil War. The day became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Act into law.

Dr. Harper graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2017 and is the assistant professor of African American history at UNC Pembroke, where she joined the Department of History in 2021. She was the visiting assistant professor of African American and women's history at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota. Harper was a historical consultant for Focus on the Women's Suffrage Movement, part of the Read Woke Books children's educational series. Her forthcoming monograph, Ladies of Little Rock: Black Femininity and Respectability Politics in the Fight to Desegregate Central High School (University of Georgia Press, 2024), explores the activism and visibility of middle-class Black women during that 1957 school desegregation effort. She is the author of the textbook Crossing the Deep River: An Introduction to African American History, which will be published in the fall of 2023.

The Office of Student Inclusion & Diversity (OSID) is committed to advancing equity and inclusion for all community members through intercultural engagement, social justice initiatives, education, and student-centered programming. OSID is a department within the Division of Student Affairs. To learn more, follow the department on social media @inclusiveUNCP or visit uncp.edu/osid.