Juneteenth is a time for reflection in recognition of June 19, 1865, when some of the last people enslaved under the Confederacy in Texas were freed by Union troops. Approved by Congress as a federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has grown to become a time for communities to celebrate that moment of freedom and to elevate the contributions of African Americans within the American tapestry.
Charissa Owens leads campus and community members on the second annual Maroon Walk for Juneteenth. (Photos by Catie Cleveland)
The College of Charleston observes Juneteenth by coming together for the Maroon Walk for Juneteenth, which was held this year on June 5, 2023. With a new virtual tour through the College’s Discovering Our Past app and website, visitors to the College of Charleston campus can reflect on the significance of Juneteenth and some of the College’s African American heritage sites year-round.
The tour, which highlights the histories of African-descended people in Charleston, features eight locations on or near campus:
“The walk is designed to be an empowering, culturally affirming and physically active opportunity to recognize the federal observation of Juneteenth at the College of Charleston,” says Charissa Owens, director of diversity education and training in the Office of Institutional Diversity.
57 Coming Street was the home of the Guenveur family, who were pillars of the African American community in Charleston during the early to mid-1900s.