Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.

Juneteenth Lectures

Juneteenth National Independence Day is a federal holiday celebrated on June 19th in the United States. It commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the country. Juneteenth traces its roots back to June 19, 1865 and became a federal holiday in the United States through the passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on June 17, 2021. 

Juneteenth Radio Contribution by Prof. Dr. Pia Wiegmink

BCDSS Prof. Dr. Pia Wiegmink was invited to speak on WDR Radio Cosmo about Juneteenth.

Prof. Dr. Pia Wiegmink on Juneteenth (WDR Radio)

Juneteenth Lectures

organized in cooperation with the AmerikaHaus NRW

and the North American Studies Program (NAS) of the University of Bonn


Enslaved Females in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century North America: Examining the Fugitive Slave Archive

By Charmaine A. Nelson

The scholarship on transatlantic slavery has long benefited from the often-exhaustive data published in the fugitive slave archive. Ubiquitous throughout the transatlantic world, fugitive slave advertisements were commonly placed by enslavers seeking to recapture enslaved people who resisted through flight. Such notices commonly provided specific, invasive detail about an enslaved person’s body, dress, skills, languages, and even gestures and mannerisms. Although enslaved females standardly comprised a smaller percentage of runaways, nevertheless, the fugitive notices that do exist for female freedom seekers shed light on their lives and experiences. Through an examination of the fugitive slave archive and other sources, this lecture seeks to fill some of the scholarly gaps on the experiences of enslaved females of African descent in Canada. More specifically, it will offer some distinctions between the lives and experiences of enslaved females in slave minority (temperate) and slave majority (tropical) sites in the British transatlantic world.

Juneteenth 2024
© AmerikaHaus NRW


Revisiting Black Radical Histories Across the Atlantic

By Tiffany N. Florvil

Juneteenth 2023
© AmerikaHaus NRW

Throughout modern history, Black writers and activists – George Padmore, Shirley Graham Du Bois, and May Ayim – have pursued radical projects pointing out the lack of basic human rights of marginalized communities. In this talk commemorating the Juneteenth National Independence Day, Tiffany N. Florvil argues that these individuals and others have drawn upon their cross-cultural experiences to highlight how the intersecting oppressions of racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism have persisted throughout the twentieth century. Traversing geographical and aesthetic boundaries, these activists and intellectuals advocated for civil, social, and political change in their respective countries and beyond, advancing a cosmopolitan ethos that allowed them to offer new forms of knowledge and instigate change.


Reshaping Freedom: Harriet Tubman's Abolitionism and the Path to Citizenship

By Deirdre Cooper Owens

In this talk, Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens, a historian of slavery and medicine, explores how both freedom and citizenship functioned in the lives of antebellum-era African Americans when most were considered chattel and ineligible for the rights of citizenship. Harriet Tubman, an enslaved woman who lived in a patriarchal and anti-Black America, led over 70 enslaved people to freedom from Eastern Shore Maryland to free states and to Canada. She became a saviour of weary laborers as well as a symbol of communal democracy. Harriet Tubman's freedom dream and fugitive activism demonstrated a version of freedom where Black women were liberators and had a disabled Black woman at its center. Thus, freedom-fighting abolitionist Harriet Tubman complicated and expanded democracy, civic engagement, and citizenship rights for all of the groups to whom she belonged: the disabled, women, enslaved, and African Americans. 

Juneteenth 2022
© AmerikaHaus NRW
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