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Juneteenth Observance at Solitude

Memorializing those who were Enslaved on the land we stand upon

Juneteenth Observation at Solitude
Click on image to enlarge

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Time: 9:00 AM EST
750 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24060

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day,  Black Independence Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, is an American holiday that celebrates the emancipation of the last remaining enslaved African Americans in the Confederacy.  On June 19, 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation— which had been issued on January 1, 1863— was read to enslaved African Americans in Texas by Gordon Granger. Formerly enslaved people in Galveston celebrated after the announcement, and the following year, organized the first of what became an annual celebration of freedom.  Over the years, celebrations spread beyond Texas.  Juneteenth is now recognized as a holiday in 47 states and the District of Columbia with efforts underway for it to be made a federal holiday.

Fire up the barbecue and enjoy some “hot links and red drinks” with friends and family

Here are 68 recipes from Black creators to celebrate Juneteenth

Why red food?
The practice of eating red foods—red cake, barbecue, punch and fruit– may owe its existence to the enslaved Yoruba and Kongo brought to Texas in the 19th century.  For both of these cultures the color red is the embodiment of spiritual power and transformation.  Enslavement narratives from Texas recall an African ancestor being lured using red flannel cloth, and many of the charms and power objects used to manipulate invisible forces required a red handkerchief.  It’s clear that even in slavery’s aftermath, Afro-Texans had a rich food culture, created under adversity in communities with rich cultural origins and a diversity of influences, with a strong root in the foodways and cultures of West and Central Africa. |
-Michael W. Twitty,   “Terroir Noire: African American Foodways in Slavery, Texas.” 2011, Afroculinaria  

Explore the culinary traditions of Africa, African America, and the Africa Diaspora at Afroculinaria

Pour some strawberry iced tea and relax:

Read a book to celebrate Juneteenth no matter your age[

Watch Miss Juneteenth (2020): Streaming on Amazon Prime

Participate in one of the Juneteenth community events happening across Virginia and the Washington DC area.

Listen to Rochelle Rice sing a rendition of the African American National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing.

Explore the Juneteenth site of the National Museum of African American History and Culture where you can learn more about the historical significance of Juneteenth and the African American National Anthem, discover how to find your ancestors and search the records of the Freedmen’s Bureau, hear an African folk tale, and create a family flag for Juneteenth.

Know VT History: At Virginia Tech, Juneteenth is an opportunity to deepen knowledge around our shared history so that we may advocate for narratives that have been erased or forgotten. With this knowledge, we recommit to the Principles of Community and embolden ourselves—individually and collectively--to make Virginia Tech an anti-racist institution.

Give to the Inclusive VT Excellence Fund and directly impact the recruitment success, and retention and graduation rates of Black, Latinx, and other students from under-represented and minority communities.

Discover projects underway from the Council on Virginia Tech History that life up the stories of Black history at Virginia Tech.

Learn more about the College for Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Juneteenth Scholars Program.

Tune in to the #Unfinished Conversations playlist on the Inclusive VT YouTube page to view conversations on race and athletics, white allyship, teaching, and more.

Support Black-owned businesses!

Give to the Inclusive VT Excellence Fund and directly impact the recruitment success, and retention and graduation rates of Black, Latinx, and other students from under-represented and minority communities

Participate in Juneteenth in the Commonwealth to benefit the Virginia NAACP Freedom Fund

Saturday, June 19th, 7 pm ET

Join the Virginia NAACP for its inaugural Juneteenth in the Commonwealth. This virtual benefits will honor our freedom, celebrate our progress, and mobilize our communities for the continued fight for freedom. Proceeds benefit the Virginia NAACP Freedom Fund.

RSVP online at or call 804.321-5678.