Juneteenth is getting a lot of attention this year. And while the midst of a global pandemic and recovery may not be the ideal time to celebrate, here are some things that you can do to commemorate June 19 this year and moving forward.
Many of us did not learn much (or anything) about Juneteenth in school as we grew up, so now is the perfect time to learn why the day should be celebrated. On June 19, 1865, Union Major General Granger read General Order Number 3 in Galveston, Texas, which informed those enslaved there that they were free. Over time, celebrating Juneteenth has included a variety of activities such as rodeos, barbecues, panels, and prayer services. Take some time today to read about some of these traditions and make sure you share what you learned with the people around you.
Eating is always an important aspect of celebrations. Many traditional Juneteenth menus have included red food items to acknowledge and honor the blood that the ancestors shed during the period that they were enslaved and in the time since then. If you decide to cook, consider incorporating red foods and drinks, like strawberries or red juices into your meals. Alternatively, you could visit one of the hundreds of Black-owned restaurants that would not be possible without the work and sacrifices of the ancestors. If you need help finding some click here or here.
Black people have a collective $1.2 trillion in buying power. Harnessing that and backing Black-owned businesses can have an incredible impact on our communities. Make a purchase today from a Black brand that you love or find a new one to follow and support and share. Check out the Village Collective Mobile Marketplace for a great place to start.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said that “no one is free until we are all free” and a day celebrating freedom seems like the perfect day to work for freedom and justice for all. Breonna Taylor’s murders are still free. Black people continue to be killed. Make a call, send an email, sign a petition, participate in a protest, donate to a cause – whatever makes sense to you to ensure the freedom we celebrate on Juneteenth extends to all of us.