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June 19 or “Juneteenth” has been celebrated within the Black American community since the late 1800s, when the date emerged as the first national commemoration of the end of Black slavery in the United States.

As CSU’s President McConnell wrote last year, “What I am struck by even in just scratching the surface of this piece of American history is that the date celebrated by many Black Americans as their ‘independence day’ is not the date when the first enslaved people were legally freed, but the date when the last enslaved people were legally freed. The significance of this impulse by the entire community is so powerful, because it clearly affirms that changing things for some people but not all is not enough. True, lasting, meaningful change must be felt by all those impacted.”

Learn more about Juneteenth.

To celebrate and recognize this date, ACT shares links to watch short films programmed in previous festivals directed by Black filmmakers. We have curated a few additional short films that celebrate Black lives and Black joy as well as document continuing struggles.