Juneteenth Lunch - Monday, June 19th 12:45PM-2:00PM
Monday’s lunch presentation will provide an opportunity for conference attendees to learn about the Juneteenth holiday and improve our awareness of diversity and equity in the nation.
Lunch fee: $20 (Round-table seating with plated lunch)
The Unsteady March on the Stony Road to the Juneteenth National Holiday
Neither Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1862, Robert E. Lee's surrender to Ulysses S. Grant
at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, nor the surrender of Joseph E. Johnston to William T. Sherman at Durham
Station on April 18, 1865 marked the end of Slavery or hostilities between Union and Confederate forces. Indeed, the
Emancipation Proclamation was a war time measure and freed enslaved people only in the States in rebellion, with
exceptions even in these States that were under Union control on January 1, 1862. The Emancipation Proclamation did
not free Enslaved persons in the Border States of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri--all of which were slave
Hostilities between the States continued with there being a Confederate victory in Texas at the Battle of Palmito Ranch
as late as May 12-13, 1865. A treaty ending hostilities in Texas was signed on May 26, 1865. Enslaved people in Texas
received an official reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston as General Orders No. 3 on June 19, 1865.
This Order included significant provisions not in the January 1, 1862 Proclamation. This day of celebration initially called
"Emancipation Day" evolved into our present-day "Juneteenth."
In this talk, we will discuss the significance of Juneteenth in today's world, the evolution of "Juneteenth" and the
challenges, cultural, social and culinary settings, as Juneteenth spread throughout the Nation in its Uneven March over a
Stony Road to become a National Holiday.
After the talk, participants will use discussion prompts available at each table to discuss about Juneteenth or topics of diversity and inclusion.
Speaker: Prof Billy Joe Evans, Emeritus, Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Billy Joe Evans is the second eldest of 8 children (7 boys and 1 girl). Evans' father was formally trained in the art and science of "firing" steam locomotives, and Evans took great pride in his father's role as a key operator of some of the largest land machines that also moved right in the midst of his neighborhood and gave him an awareness of a World beyond his segregated, Jim Crow hometown, of Macon, Georgia.
Throughout his studies in the public, segregated schools in Macon, Evans had excellent, intrusive teachers who focused on developing the talents of their students. He had an excellent and fully involved Chemistry teacher, but his Social Studies teacher, Phalba Pitts, and English teacher, George Espy, played critical roles in preparing him for college and enabling him to leave high school after the 11th grade and enroll at Morehouse College as a Merrill Scholar. The faculty at Morehouse was very demanding of themselves and their students. His chemistry teacher, Henry C. McBay was the decisive factor in Evans choosing to major in Chemistry. In 1963, Evans graduated from Morehouse summa cum laude, as valedictorian of his class, and an Honorary Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson and John Hay Whitney Foundations.
Evans earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1968 from the University of Chicago in Solid State chemistry/Crystal Physics. After one year on the Chemistry faculty at Howard University, Evans spent the next 33 years at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where he and his group conducted research on the solid-state chemistry of iron in oxide materials with a focus on magnetic oxides. His quest to promote access to careers in science of undergraduate and high school students, led him to initiate the Program in Scholarly Research at University of Michigan, which allowed many Detroit Public School students to be involved in science projects at the university.