Your Student Life: Pride and Juneteenth

June 19, 2022

June is LGBTQ Pride Month

Pride may seem like a simple concept, but for members of the LGBTQ community, pride is the antidote to a long history of shaming and discrimination. Pride Month is all about self-affirmation, dignity and the fight for equality.

The celebration of Pride Month in June has deep historical roots that date back to the Stonewall riots more than 50 years ago.  

In the early hours of June 28, 1969, police raided a gay bar in New York City called Stonewall Inn and began making arrests. This night, the patrons of Stonewall fought back, resisting arrest and beginning a riot that would continue for the next 6 days. While this was not the first instance of the LGBTQ community fighting back against mistreatment, the Stonewall riots received more mainstream attention than similar protests.

The Stonewall Riots are seen as a tipping point in the LGBTQ rights movement. One year later in 1970, LGBTQ activists organized a march to commemorate the riots. As Stonewall Inn was located on Christopher Street, the event was called the Christopher Street Liberation Day March. LGBTQ folks gathered to march from Stonewall Inn to Central Park, where they then staged a “gay-in” by occupying the park.

The Christopher Street Liberation Day March became an annual occurrence and the idea spread, eventually evolving into the Pride events we celebrate today.

 

Juneteenth Freedom Day 

Juneteenth, June 19, marks the date in 1865 when slaves were read federal orders freeing them under the terms of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.

The celebration takes its name from “June” plus “nineteenth,” and marks the day when Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and the enslaved were now free. He read from General Order Number 3 which began:

"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer."

Last year, Congress passed, and President Biden signed into law, legislation that establishes June 19 as a national holiday. This year, because it falls on a Sunday, Ohio State and others will observe the holiday on Monday, June 20.  

In recognition of Juneteenth, the MCC will host a workshop designed to draw our campus community into conversation to reflect on how we have individually and collectively been socialized into our racial identities, and examine how prejudice, discrimination and oppression impact ourselves and others. Participants will be encouraged to develop concrete steps they will take to strengthen their commitment to antiracist actions.

Exploring Antiracism
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
10 – 11 a.m.
Alonso Family Room of the Student Life Multicultural Center
No registration needed

 

I hope you will join with others commemorating both Pride Month and Juneteenth.

 

Tanisha L. Jenkins, PhD

Associate Vice President for Belonging and Inclusion
Office of Student Life