Juneteenth (short for “June 19th”), the oldest nationally recognized holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, has been celebrated by the African American community since the late 1800s. More recently, as a result of nationwide protests over police brutality and the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many other Black Americans, this day that represents freedom has developed a new impact. At its core, Juneteenth is a day of celebration; however its impact on the Black community has grown significantly as nationwide protests continue and long-awaited changes are made.
So, how is this holiday celebrated? The first Juneteenth celebration happened in 1866, the year after U.S. General Gordon Granger gave the official order of emancipation of enslaved people in Texas. Since then, communities around the country have gathered to honor this historic day. From massive parades to neighborhood gatherings, festivals with local bands to picnics and barbecues, every family chooses to celebrate Juneteenth in their own unique way. Traditionally, red food and drinks are a staple at any barbecue or picnic, as red symbolizes resilience.
Ultimately, Juneteenth’s history is symbolic of liberation that was long delayed due to power, supremacy, and resistance to equality. This holiday commemorates a day of freedom that deserves to be celebrated by everyone.
As a part of our Goal Five community, you represent a fight for equality in many forms. The best way to be an ally in this fight is to support the communities around us, and truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. If you choose to honor Juneteenth, we encourage you to support Black-owned businesses, challenge unfair legislations, and donate to organizations that support the Black community in their fight for justice in all forms.
Happy celebrating, team! ❤️
Support Black-Owned Businesses
Ideas: Museums, restaurants, wellness brands, and more.
Support/Join Black Organizers
Support Black Pride
Support the mental health of Black Women and Girls
To learn more about the history of Juneteenth (and our sources for this blog post!)
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