What is Juneteenth?

Hey what’s up, what’s up, what’s up?! How’s it going??! Hope you’re having a great week. Juneteenth is on June 19th of every year so if you’re here on Friday, June 19th, Happy Juneteenth to everyone celebrating today! What is Juneteenth? June 19, 1865 – Juneteenth: the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States…A second independence day.

Did you know?

  • When the United States became free in 1776, Black people weren’t freed from slavery.
  • In fact, Black people were not declared free for another 87 years.
  • And, it took an additional two whole years beyond Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation for the last slaves to be freed in Galveston, Texas.
  • It’s a celebration of the journey and freedom of Black people in the US.

It’s so important to learn and teach

  • While these important Black history lessons may not be part of the history classes taught in school, it’s very important for us to get educated.
  • In addition to becoming more educated about Black history and culture, those of us who are parents need to teach our children about Black history. That way, we can reflect on the past and celebrate the future. This is a teachable moment so we should all seize it!
  • My 9 and 7 year olds had never heard of Juneteenth until we started talking about it and we will celebrate every year, going forward!

Want to learn more?

  • Check out this interactive tour, courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.

How to celebrate

Virtual celebrations

  • Sweet Honey in the Rock and Laudable Productions:
    • This virtual concert and conversation will pay homage to Juneteenth, 1865 when news of emancipation reached the last group of enslaved Black people in Galveston, Tx.
    • The performance will be broadcast live on Friday, June 19th at 8pm from the historic stage at the Lincoln Theater in Washington, D.C. to an empty hall.
  • Juneteenth Music Festival:
    • The Juneteenth Music Festival honors individuals who #DREAMBIG. Each year they strive to honor individuals who have set high standards for achievement in business, education, arts, and service.
  • BLKFREEDOM.ORG Coalition Commemoration:
    • Six Black museums from coast to coast present a virtual commemoration so you can check out great content, artistic performances and discussion prompts at blkfreedom.org.
  • PBS content:
    • PBS has a great collection of videos from their local stations as well as stories worth digging into, including resources for how to teach children about Juneteenth.
  • Miss Juneteenth:
    • Catch this new indie movie on demand. Click on the title link to watch the trailer on Youtube.
    • Featuring one of my fave new actors: HBO Insecure’s very own Kendrick Sampson; it tells the story of a former beauty pageant and single mother from Texas [Nicole Behari] who preps her rebellious 15-year-old daughter [Alexis Chikaeze] for the Miss Juneteenth pageant: an annual competition that awards the winner a scholarship to a historically black college or university [HBCU] of her choice. 

Amplify Black voices

One of the most sustainable ways to support the black community is to help amplify black voices.

  • For Black-owned restaurants across the U.S., check out this list, courtesy of OpenTable.
  • Check out more Black-owned businesses here.

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Stay fabulous and safe!