On June 16, 2023, the Phoenix VA Clinic was host to the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration, presented by the Black Employment Special Emphasis Program. Highlighting the significance of Juneteenth and celebrating the contributions of Black people in American history and culture, the event was well planned and successfully conveyed the message.
Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. It is celebrated on June 19, the day on which Union Army General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865, and declared that all slaves in the state were to be set free, marking the end of slavery in the United States.
The Phoenix VA Clinic celebration included a range of activities and events, aimed at educating attendees about the importance of Juneteenth and celebrating the contributions of Black people to American history and culture.
The celebration included a beautiful rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” sung by Barbara Williams. Keynote speakers shared their insights and perspectives on the significance of Juneteenth, and discussed the impact that Black people have had on American society.
The event featured an outstanding lineup of speakers who brought their unique perspectives on Juneteenth and its impact on American society. Among the distinguished guests were Phoenix VA Medical Center Director, Bryan Matthews, ASU professor, Dr. Kenja Hassan, and Shayla Cole, an accomplished ASU Alum. Diana Gregory, an honoree of the event, was recognized for her non-profit organization, “Diana Gregory Fresh Market, and her contributions to “Veggies for Vets, a program that provides veterans access to fresh and healthy produce.
Of course, no Juneteenth celebration would be complete without food, and the Phoenix VA Clinic event was no exception. Attendees were able to enjoy delicious food and drinks, including soul food, and Caribbean cuisine from food trucks that were set up in the parking lot outside the clinic.
Overall, the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration at Phoenix VA Clinic 2023 was an important and impactful event, celebrating the contributions of Black people to American society and reminding us all of the ongoing struggles for racial justice. We can only hope that next year’s event will be even bigger and better.
For more information on Juneteenth, check out this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juneteenth
Danille Taylor, Professor of African American Studies at Clark Atlanta University, Named New Director of University’s Historical Art Museum
ATLANTA /PRNewswire/ — Clark Atlanta University recently named Danille Taylor, Ph.D., as the Director of its art museum (CAUAM). Taylor is a professor of African American Studies at the University and has served as interim museum director since August 2022. Under her leadership, the museum reopened in October 2022 with three new exhibitions, including “Our Friend Jean, the Early Works of Jean Michele Basquiat,” which drew more than 1300 attendees during its week-long run
“Dr. Taylor’s experience, determination, and perseverance serve her well in this role,” said Jaideep Chaudhary, Dean and Professor of the School of Arts and Sciences. “Danille was instrumental in bringing the collective works of Basquiat, one of the museum’s most successful exhibitions, to Clark Atlanta University. Additionally, she led the charge to secure and curate two more exhibits for the 2022-2023 exhibition season: “From Black Spring to the Eternal” and “The Audacious Platform.” CAUAM is thriving under her leadership, and her efforts to advance the museum to the next level are meritorious.”
Dr. Taylor brings 17 years of experience in higher education administration to her role. Her background includes serving at three universities as Dean of the schools in which art museums were housed. This facilitated her development of appropriate strategies aligned with Clark Atlanta’s art museum’s mission and purpose. In addition to her work as a professor and educator, she studied under Edmund Barry Gaither at Boston University, founder of the National Center of Afro-American Artists in Boston, and the first president of the African American Museum Association, where she became grounded in African American visual art history. Moreover, Dr. Taylor, alongside famed artist Dr. Margaret Burroughs, served on the Board of Directors at Chicago’s renowned DuSable Museum of African American History, where she garnered intimate exposure to the museum’s collections, management, finances, educational mission, and programming. While in Illinois, Taylor also taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
CAU administrator and visual artist Sam D. Burston states, “While serving as Interim Director, I have observed Dr. Taylor’s commitment and passion for the CAU Museum. In her new role as Director, she will not only elevate the university treasure to a renewed level of excellence and awareness; she will also develop programs and key initiatives which will honor the legacy of its founder, Hale Woodruff, while showcasing the significant essence of African American culture through our historic art collection.”
Under Dr. Taylor’s tenure as interim director, Clark Atlanta University began its work as a member of the inaugural group of HBCUs to participate in the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s HBCU History and Culture Access Consortium to digitize the permanent collection and complete the conservation of the Hale
Woodruff murals “The Art of the Negro.” A grant from the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) for $100,000 has also been secured to hire a registrar/collection manager.
Dr. Taylor earned her bachelor’s degree in English and African American Studies, a Master of Arts degree from Boston University in African American Studies, and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in American Studies from Brown University. She is editor of Conversations with Toni Morrison and coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to African American Women’s Writing.
About Clark Atlanta University
Clark Atlanta University was formed with the consolidation of Atlanta University and Clark College, both of which hold unique places in the annals of African American history. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans. Clark College, established four years later in 1869, was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African American student population. Today, with nearly 4,000 students, CAU is the largest of the four institutions (CAU, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Morehouse School of Medicine) that comprise the Atlanta University Center Consortium. It is also the largest of the 37-member UNCF institutions. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson, American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing, “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy, Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit www.cau.edu.
SOURCE Clark Atlanta University
Understanding and Celebrating Juneteenth
Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, is a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It is celebrated on June 19th every year and has gained increasing recognition in recent years as a day of remembrance, reflection, and celebration.
The origins of Juneteenth date back to June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced that the Civil War had ended and that all enslaved people were now free. This announcement came two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all slaves in Confederate-held territory were to be set free.
The delay in delivering the news of emancipation to Texas and other states was due to a lack of communication and enforcement of the proclamation by the Confederate states. This meant that many slaves continued to work in bondage until the Union army arrived and enforced the new laws.
Juneteenth marks the day when the last enslaved people in the United States were finally freed, making it a significant moment in American history. The holiday has traditionally been celebrated by African Americans, with parades, picnics, and other community events. It is a time to reflect on the struggles and sacrifices of those who fought for freedom and to celebrate the progress that has been made.
In recent years, there has been a growing movement to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday. In 2020, amid nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism, many companies and organizations began to observe Juneteenth as a paid holiday. Following this, on June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday.
The decision to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday is a significant step towards acknowledging the history and legacy of slavery in the United States. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the contributions and achievements of African Americans and to promote greater understanding and unity across the country.
As Juneteenth becomes an official national holiday, it is important to continue to recognize the ongoing struggle for racial justice and equality. This includes addressing systemic inequalities in areas such as education, healthcare, and criminal justice, and working towards a more just and equitable society for all.
In conclusion, Juneteenth is a holiday that symbolizes the end of slavery in the United States and the struggle for freedom and equality. As it becomes an official national holiday, it is a time to reflect on the past, celebrate progress, and work towards a better future.
Remembering the horrors of Tulsa
The Tulsa Race Massacre was a horrific event in American history that occurred in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921. The massacre was sparked by a false accusation of assault against an African-American man, which led to a mob of white people attacking the predominantly African-American Greenwood district of Tulsa. The attack lasted for two days, resulting in the deaths of up to 300 people, the destruction of thousands of homes, and the displacement of over 10,000 African-American residents.
The events leading up to the massacre began on May 30, 1921. A young African-American man named Dick Rowland was accused of assaulting Sarah Page, a white woman, in an elevator. The accusation was later found to be false, but it led to a mob of white people gathering outside the jail where Rowland was being held. Fearing for Rowland’s safety, a group of African-American men went to the jail to protect him. This sparked a confrontation between the two groups, which eventually led to violence.
For the next two days, white mobs attacked the Greenwood district of Tulsa. They used guns, incendiary bombs, and even airplanes to destroy homes and businesses in the area. The National Guard was called in to quell the violence, but not before up to 300 people had been killed and thousands of homes destroyed.
The Tulsa Race Massacre had a devastating effect on the African-American community in Tulsa. Over 10,000 people were displaced and the area of Greenwood was left in ruins. The massacre was largely forgotten for decades afterward, but it has since been recognized as an important moment in American history. In 2021, the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission was established to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the massacre and to work towards racial justice and reconciliation.
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