WMU-Cooley Law School Honors Juneteenth and African-American Independence

On Tuesday, June 15, WMU-Cooley Law School held a virtual discussion titled Juneteenth Promises Made, Promises Delayed, Promises Kept. The historical overview of Juneteenth was hosted by WMU-Cooley Tampa Bay campus Visiting Professor Joseline Hardrick and featured keynote speaker Judge Cynthia Stephens of the Michigan Court of Appeals First District.

Joseline Hardrick

During the presentation, Hardrick, who is also founder and president of Diversity Access Pipeline Inc. (DBA Journey to Esquire®),  which runs a scholarship and leadership program, podcast and blog, gave a historical overview of Juneteenth.

While explaining why Juneteenth, which celebrates the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States, Hardrick shared that it was on June 19, 1865, when General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and announced enslaved people were now free.

Pictured: Joseline Hardrick

Hardrick said, “On July 4, 1776, America declared independence from British Rule, but did not extend freedoms to many of its residents. Citizenship was not granted to all natural born citizens until the 14th Amendment, after the Civil War.  So once slavery was outlawed  and the last slaves were informed, Juneteenth became known as a second Independence Day or Emancipation Day.”

While presenting the keynote, Stephens spoke about the delay in getting the news to Texas and how the delay foreshadows many other major civil rights events in the United States.

“The delay  in getting the news to Galveston was occasioned, not just by how far away it was, because the news got to Alabama and Louisiana, right next door.  It was delayed in part because of the priorities of the federal government. It likely would have been even later if not for the decision to reestablish control over the vital ports of Galveston,” said Stephens. “There are those who say like the Emancipation Proclamation itself, that the news got to Galveston not for the purpose of freeing the slaves, but for the primary purpose of preserving the Union and reestablishing the economy.”

Jun 17 2021

CONTACT

WMU-Cooley Law School
300 South Capitol Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48933 
(517) 371-5140

Click here for a full sitemap

Click here for Consumer Information
(ABA-Required Disclosures)

Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
Get Adobe Acrobat Reader

Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School is an independent, private, non-profit educational institution affiliated with Western Michigan University. The affiliation between WMU and WMU-Cooley, which are legally and financially independent institutions, will end on or before November 5, 2023. As an independent institution, the Law School is solely responsible for its academic program. Accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. 

Read non-discrimination policy

If you encounter accessibility barriers while on our website, please notify our Accessibility Office using the Inaccessible Content Notification Form.

WMU Cooley Logo
In corde hominum est anima legis.

© 2021 WMU Cooley Law School

Search