Celebrate the Rich History of Black Americans at Juneteenth Jubilee

On Tuesday June 18, Kent State will commemorate Juneteenth with a community celebration that combines the rich history of Black Americans with performances, great food and vendors.

Juneteenth Jubilee will be held from 11 a.m.– 1:30 p.m. on the Kent Campus, Student Green/Risman Plaza. It is free and open to the public. 

Joella Brooks, owner of Brooks Homestyle BBQ LLC, has participated in Kent State’s Juneteenth Jubilee since the beginning, and she has watched it grow into a glorious event.

“I thought it was beautiful – the Zumba, the music and the connection,” Brooks remembers. “There was no arguing, no fighting. I love the whole vibe and love that is put into it.” 

Talea Drummer-Ferrell, Ph.D., Kent State's associate vice president for Student Life and dean of students, will serve as the emcee for the event. DJ Smoov, one of America’s most in-demand DJ talents who performs all over the country, will provide music, and Berhane and Sowande Okantah will provide an interactive drumming workshop for attendees.

What is Juneteenth?

Established as a Federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth is the commemoration of the day in 1865 when enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas, got the news that the Civil War had ended, and they were now free. Slavery in states engaged in rebellion against the Union had ended a full two years before, when President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became official on Jan. 1, 1863. And it wasn’t long before Black Americans began to celebrate Juneteenth, the name derived from combining June and 19th.

In 1980, Texas began recognizing Juneteenth as an official state holiday, and in 2020, 47 states and the District of Columbia recognized the date too. In 2021, the U.S. Senate and House passed measures to recognize Juneteenth National Independence Day as a federal holiday. President Joe Biden signed the legislation on June 17, 2021.

Kent State’s E. Timothy Moore Student Multicultural Center hosted the 2021 Juneteenth Jubilee and Kent State students were integral in planning the event.

Juneteenth Jubilee 2023



A unique variety of vendors and organizations will be available at Juneteenth Jubilee. 

POSTED: Thursday, June 6, 2024 01:03 PM
Updated: Friday, June 14, 2024 09:23 AM
April McClellan-Copeland