Juneteenth (Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day) is a day to honor and celebrate the abolishment of African American slavery. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, and “the state’s residents finally learned that slavery had been abolished.” All those who were enslaved celebrated their newfound freedom in song, dance, and prayer. This day marked the beginning of all individuals being included in the United States Declaration of Independence phrase of “all men are created equal.” Juneteenth was made a federal holiday in 2021 by President Biden. All around the US you can find a variety of Juneteenth celebrations, from parades to music festivals. Be sure to wish all those around you a Happy Juneteenth as this was the day freedom was given to all Americans.
Many companies are taking June 20th off this year to reflect and honor this important day and history of the USA. In addition, we should continually look at ways in which we might continue fighting systemic racism; because while slavery was abolished in 1865, systemic racism continues, and it will take anti-racist actions to help abolish this. Movements such as the “Black Lives Matter” campaign are designed to bring awareness to injustices within medical care, the police system and the schools along with other aspects of society.
Juneteenth, learn more and celebrate the holiday!
An historian explains the history in this video (7 min) from Vox: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FX-Iisvrj8
The movie “Summer of Soul” – (2 hour documentary) includes never before seen footage of a celebration during the same time as the well documented Woodstock music festival. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slFiJpAxZyQ
Books for adults, teens and kids: https://www.bu.edu/articles/2021/juneteenth-books-for-kids-teens-and-adults/
Beyond 28 Podcast – https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b7hJtHPsDGI
Take Action – 5 Easy Steps:
- Learn by watching, reading and listening (examples above).
- Make it personal and invite conversations about the holiday with your host family and kids.
- Visit a site: https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-museums-united-states-and-canada/
- Participate in local celebrations: https://www.essence.com/culture/juneteenth-events-happening-across-the-country/
- Find the Black owned businesses in your community: https://www.insider.com/guides/home/support-black-owned-businesses