Margaret Fosmoe ’85 | June 23, 2020
Notre Dame football players led a campus celebration of Juneteenth on Friday, June 19, calling for a commitment to racial justice and to the Black Lives Matter movement.
“For all Black people in this country, today is our Fourth of July. It’s our Independence Day. And may it always be recognized as such,” said Daelin Hayes ’20, a graduate student and defensive lineman on the football team.
His comments drew cheers from a crowd of several hundred people from the Notre Dame and local communities, many of them wearing black shirts to symbolize their support, gathered on the Irish Green near the main entrance to campus. Participants wore face coverings because of the coronavirus pandemic and they were encouraged to practice social distancing.
Juneteenth celebrates Black history and freedom. On June 19, 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced federal orders proclaiming that all slaves in Texas were free. Although President Abraham Lincoln had formally freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation more than two years earlier and the Civil War had ended in April 1865, Texas was remote and enforcement of proclamation hadn’t been inconsistent.
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