SEVERE WX : Flash Flood Watch - Flood Warning View Alerts

Local experts say federal Juneteenth holiday is a step forward

President Biden signed Juneteenth into being a federal holiday on June 17. Local experts say it's a step forward for recognizing the darker parts of America's past.

Posted: Jun 17, 2021 6:52 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - On June 17, President Biden signed Juneteenth into being a federal holiday. This comes just two days before celebrations begin in Greater Lafayette.

For Associate Professor of History at Purdue University Cornelius Bynum, it helps Americans to remember what shouldn't be forgotten.

"And so Juneteenth is a really important symbol for recognizing the profound shortcomings of the nation when it comes to living it's core principles," Bynum said.

Juneteenth celebrates the news of emancipation arriving to Galveston Texas, two years after the emancipation proclamation of 1863. While enslaved African Americans had been freed under the law, post-reconstruction and Jim Crow laws have limited their freedoms. Bynum says with the federal recognition of Juneteenth, the country is making an important first step to recognizing it's shortcomings.

"And first steps should be followed by other steps and so long as that's the process, then I think it should be acknowledged and celebrated as an achievement moving forward, but it can't be the only thing the federal government does," Bynum said.

Of course, Juneteenth has been celebrated by friends and families for years, including here in Greater Lafayette. Deanna McMillan is the director for advancement for the Baptist Student Foundation at Purdue.

"We were ahead of the curve, and that just goes to show... I'm from New York City, big city, but you know I have never been to a Juneteenth celebration in New York City. We had this planned before it was a national holiday," McMillan said.

She echoes Bynum's belief that today is a day the country moves forward.

"So I think this is another step in that direction where we can say it out loud that there was an injustice done, and we can move on and not dwell in that," McMillan said.

The Baptist Student Foundation is holding a Juneteenth celebration Saturday at Tapawingo Park in West Lafayette from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

West Lafayette
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 52°
Kokomo
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 50°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 42°
Fowler
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 52°
Williamsport
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 57°
Crawfordsville
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Frankfort
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 54°
Delphi
Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 45°
Monticello
Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 45°
Logansport
Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: °
Heavy rain and gusty winds are main threats overnight Sunday.
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1007681

Reported Deaths: 16470
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1355212121
Lake664101166
Allen57993801
Hamilton46350465
St. Joseph44397615
Elkhart35949510
Vanderburgh32251480
Tippecanoe27933260
Johnson25107445
Hendricks23897359
Porter22929365
Madison18748409
Clark18557252
Vigo17479303
Monroe15263200
LaPorte15173250
Delaware15073263
Howard14748290
Kosciusko12348148
Hancock11728176
Bartholomew11639180
Warrick11292189
Floyd11108215
Wayne10986253
Grant10082220
Morgan9472176
Boone8926115
Dubois8271131
Henry8229152
Dearborn822393
Noble8031106
Marshall7939135
Cass7546121
Lawrence7457171
Shelby7189119
Jackson698289
Gibson6597115
Harrison649192
Knox6421106
Huntington6395100
DeKalb632399
Montgomery6264111
Miami593398
Putnam581278
Clinton576171
Whitley565755
Steuben562576
Wabash5332104
Jasper532079
Jefferson511297
Ripley500586
Adams482576
Daviess4677114
Scott438974
Greene425196
Wells424888
Clay423360
White418764
Decatur4169102
Fayette406587
Jennings387361
Posey376644
Washington359151
LaGrange359078
Randolph3452100
Spencer340243
Fountain335760
Sullivan329452
Starke317171
Owen314771
Fulton312667
Orange293664
Jay284645
Franklin265643
Perry265452
Rush262432
Carroll261934
Vermillion258654
Parke231426
Pike229243
Tipton228159
Blackford193142
Pulaski183757
Crawford159823
Newton158348
Benton150617
Brown146747
Martin138719
Switzerland135011
Warren121116
Union107016
Ohio84613
Unassigned0540

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events