A&M–Central Texas Juneteenth celebration to include musical performance and talk of holiday’s history

Campus Juneteenth celebration to include musical performance and talk of holiday’s history


Texas A&M University-Central Texas is hosting a public celebration in honor of Juneteenth, at 6 pm Friday, June 17, outside of Warrior Hall.

Included in the celebration will be a performance from jazz flautist Richard Hegens, Jr. of SMTH "Smooth" Anointing Sounds Music Studio. Keina Cook, an A&M-Central Texas alumna, teaches African American Studies at Killeen High School and will give insight to the origin of Juneteenth.

“I'm really excited about serving on the panel and being a part of the continued education about the importance of things like Juneteenth and African American history, and of itself, which has kind of been a neglected part of the overall historical story of the United States,” Cook said. “Any time that I get to do that, I'm really excited, because it just means that we are enhancing the greatness of our country by telling all of its people's stories.”

The University’s chief diversity officer Dr. Sanfrena Britt said, “When we talk about diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and we talk about reaching into the community, we always express the importance of making sure the community feels welcome. I think that it's important to not only welcome the community, but that we make the message known that this is their university. We exist to serve them.”

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865 and issued the order that read, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” President Abraham Lincoln has issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, ending slavery in the seceded states.

TaNeika Moultrie, president of the NAACP Killeen Chapter, said “even though those slaves did not get the message until two and a half years later, once they did get the message, they celebrated. And that is what we need to continue to do in honor of them, and remembrance of them, and in celebration of them, is to continue that legacy.”

“Don't grow weary. Don't grow angry, don't grow frustrated. Let's celebrate as they did on that day,” said Moultrie.

Britt identifies the area around A&M-Central Texas as a multicultural region, in part because of Fort Hood. She said she hopes to continue to promote the appreciation of diversity and the inclusion of all by engaging A&M-Central Texas students, faculty, and staff with the community at large.

“I think our university has a unique perspective of what that means, that there is no one culture that should set the standard, and we should be aware of the various cultures that make us who we are,” Britt said.