Juneteenth, commemorated on June 19, marks the day in 1865 when enslaved African Americans in Texas learned of their freedom—two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Johns Hopkins University faculty are available to discuss topics ranging from the holiday’s historical significance to its impact today.

Available experts include:

Jessica Marie Johnson, an assistant professor in the History department. Johnson researches black diasporic freedom struggles from slavery to emancipation. She also explores ways digital and social media disseminate and create historical narratives, in particular, comparative histories of slavery and people of African descent. Johnson can discuss what Juneteenth means for African Americans’ continuing fight for equality.

Martha Jones, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor, professor of History, and a professor at the SNF Agora Institute. Jones is a legal and cultural historian whose work examines how African Americans have shaped the story of American democracy. She is an also an Emancipation Proclamation specialist. Jones can comment on why Juneteenth should be celebrated. She can also provide commentary on the holiday’s connection to July 4 and the Declaration of Independence. 

Minkah Makalani, associate professor and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Africana Studies. Makalani’s research interests are intellectual history, black internationalism, political theory, and race and racial identity. He can discuss Juneteenth’s origins. Makalani can also explore how major corporations have attempted to capitalize off the holiday.

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