Juneteenth '24

A Time of History and Reflection

Wednesday June 19, 2024 ~ 7:30PM

The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum invites the public to an evening with Milton C. Sernett PhD when he presents Juneteenth: A Time of History and Reflection  at the Smithfield Community Center, 5255 Pleasant Valley Road in Peterboro NY. Following the distribution of the United States Emancipation Timeline, brief video presentations will help explain Juneteenth 1865 as one of the many steps toward emancipation. Dr. Sernett will lead the times of reflections and discussions. 

Milt Sernett, professor emeritus of African American Studies and History, Syracuse University, is a founding member of the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF) and serves on the Cabinet of Freedom, the governing board of NAHOF. Sernett is the author of several publications including North Star Country: Upstate New York and the Crusade for African American Freedom, Harriet Tubman: Myth, Memory, and History, and Come to Peterboro! Commemorating the 175th Anniversary of the Founding of the New York State Anti-Slavery Society. 



The first video of the evening is Juneteenth: A Walk Through Galveston, Texas, a video filmed by Victoria Basulto, a former Fellow from Colgate University at the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum, a member of the NAHOF Cabinet of Freedom, the writer and producer of Black History Matters programs 2021 - 2024, and presently a doctoral student at the University of Notre Dame. 


Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. speaks about the history of Juneteenth in a film which includes an interview with President Biden after signing the law in 2021 making Juneteenth a national holiday. Dr. Gates presently is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, an endowed chair, at Harvard University and is a recipient of numerous awards. He is well-known for hosting the popular series Finding Your Roots on PBS and for the six-part PBS documentary series The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.


By video Dr. Annette Gordon-Reed talks about how her personal history of growing up in Texas shaped her views of recognizing the importance of Juneteenth. Dr. Reed is the author of On Juneteenth and won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for her book: The Hemingses of Monticello. She is currently the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University. 


The last video is an interview with Opal Lee Roberts, the woman who is widely known as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth.” A retired teacher, counselor, and civil rights activist in Texas, Roberts campaigned for many years to have Juneteenth recognized as a federal holiday. Her tireless efforts were rewarded in June 2021 when she was present at the White House for the signing by President Biden of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act Bill. Opal Lee Roberts has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  


The Time of History and Reflection will close with brief remarks by Milt Sernett on the history of Juneteenth celebrations in Syracuse. The program is free. The Abolition Hall and Museum will be open in the building in which the inaugural meeting of the New York State Antislavery Society was held in 1835. Information at www.nationalabolitionhalloffameandmuseum.org,

NAHOFm1835@gmail.com 315.308.1890



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PO Box 6, Peterboro, NY 13134

‭(315) 308-1890‬