Austin Community College District (ACC) is closed Friday, June 17, in observance of Juneteenth — the national day of recognition for the end of slavery. This will be the first year the college formally observes the holiday with the closure of all ACC District sites.
This decision aligns with the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act — passed by Congress in 2021. The Act designates June 19 as a federal holiday.
ACC has honored Juneteenth since 1974 with both internal and external celebrations including musical performances, cultural awareness talks, guest speakers, and opportunities to showcase the college’s African American Cultural Center.
“ACC has taken the necessary steps to respect the history of Black people, their community, and their culture,” says Darrell Merriweather, Student Affairs Academic Guidance senior advising specialist. “From its beginning, ACC has recognized the importance of Juneteenth because of the involvement of the college in the community and has provided a space for Austin to celebrate the significance.”
History of Juneteenth
Although President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became official on January 1, 1863, news that the war had ended did not reach Texas for another two and a half years. It wasn’t until June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas, that the rest of the country knew that enslaved individuals were now free.
ACC Honors Juneteenth
This year, ACC will host and participate in several Juneteenth celebrations. To learn more and participate, visit austincc.edu/juneteenth.