Clemson University honors enslaved individuals during Juneteenth celebration

Clemson University honors enslaved individuals during Juneteenth celebration

CLEMSON, S.C. (FOX Carolina) -Clemson University recently held a poignant Juneteenth celebration, honoring the memories of those who were once enslaved on its campus. The event brought the community together to commemorate and reflect on a painful yet significant part of American history.

During the ceremony, attendees called out over 100 names of enslaved individuals who could only dream of freedom. Among the names echoed through the crowd were “Ned,” “Charlotte,” and “Jack,” as a tribute to their enduring spirits.

The Juneteenth celebration took place at the historic Fort Hill Plantation, which was located on Clemson’s campus in the 1800s.

“The fig trees are connected to the enslaved people who labored in this house,” One of the event organizers said.

Barbara Perry, a Clemson resident, attended the event with the hope of hearing a relative’s name.

“I saw some names that would be my family names… last names or in this ceremony. A lot of first names sounded familiar to me whether they were my family or not,” Perry shared.

Growing up, Perry often questioned why she was treated differently because of her skin color. “I didn’t like it… I was always taught that there was nobody better or lesser than me, so I didn’t know why these people with a different color skin were supposed to be better.”

Former Clemson student Sherrica Sims reflected on her experiences walking the same grounds as her ancestors.

“I ignored this house… it did not press upon me at all because I didn’t like Fort Hill. I didn’t like the fact that we had to go on the tour. For me, it was just not having the acknowledgment period that drove me to get my degree,” Sims revealed.

This acknowledgment has given her a deeper appreciation for Juneteenth.

“I definitely want to make sure the message of Juneteenth doesn’t get lost. While it was particular to those in Texas, it was a lot for the word to get out to the enslaved,” she added.

Perry hopes that the Juneteenth celebration will serve to bring everyone together.

“That we’re equal in God’s eyes. We’re all the same; there is nobody better or lesser no matter what your origin is,” she emphasized.

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