FIT President Joyce F. Brown has issued comments about the Juneteenth holiday, celebrated and commemorated by the college this Saturday. Her statement reads as follows:
June 17, 2021
Dear FIT Community,
Call it Freedom Day, Liberation Day, Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day: It is the day in 1865 in which enslaved people in Texas learned from a Union Army announcement that they not only were free, but that they had been legally free for two-and-one-half years—which is when the Emancipation Proclamation had freed all slaves. And within one year to the day—June 19—these formerly enslaved Texans started a new tradition with church gatherings throughout the state to celebrate their freedom.
Today, Juneteenth is observed in all but four states across the land with cookouts and family reunions, street fairs, and other special events. Abraham Lincoln called the Emancipation Proclamation an “act of justice,” and while we know there is much work to be done before justice is achieved for Black America, Juneteenth is still a day to celebrate what has already been achieved and to remind all Americans of our nation’s ideals and aspirations of liberty and justice for all.
FIT joins in the celebration on Saturday, June 19—Juneteenth—when Black artists within the FIT community and the surrounding community will gather on the campus breezeway to create a mural called Love and Resilience: A Depiction of the Black Experience and Growth. Sponsored by the FIT Black Student Union, the event will take place between noon and 5 pm. The mural, comprised of individual canvases produced by the participating artists, will be displayed on campus at a later date.
Dr. Joyce F. Brown