When Abraham Lincoln signed The Emancipation Proclamation into effect, freeing slaves held in rebellious Confederate states, over 250,000 slaves in Texas didn’t get the memo. Union troops marched into Texas on June 19, 1865, signaling the end of the war and slavery, and a legacy of celebration was born. Today Juneteenth, otherwise known as Emancipation Day, is a day of celebration and reflection for Black people.
The meaning and celebrations of Juneteenth have evolved over the decades. Now, as it has now been declared an official federal holiday, there are several ways Black people and their allies can commemorate the holiday.
How can you celebrate Juneteenth this year?
Throw a barbecue. Good food and good music go hand-in-hand with the word “celebration” in the Black community. Name a better way to celebrate a monumental occasion than over food, drinks, and stories shared by loved ones. Make the cookout extra special by setting an intention at the barbeque and encourage open dialogues about the importance of Juneteenth and the liberation of Black people.
Visit a cultural site or monument. Juneteenth is an annual day of remembrance, and taking a trip to a local memorial or cultural center that’s significant to Black history is an excellent way to spend the holiday. Seek out a museum or site that you haven’t visited before, and learn something new about a Black historical figure or a critical Black history moment.
- Give back to the community. Take a moment today to acknowledge and research the issues facing the Black communities near you. Juneteenth is the perfect day to give back to your community by shopping a local black-owned business, registering people to vote, giving away free meals, and more. Grab a few friends, and then get to work!
Juneteenth is a day that many Black Americans look forward to celebrating. Still, it’s essential to note that non-Black people are encouraged to recognize the importance of the holiday and find ways to celebrate it. Allies can use Juneteenth as a day to practice active allyship by reading up on anti-racist literature and Black history, supporting a Black-owned business, or visiting a museum about Black culture.
How will you celebrate Juneteenth this year? Let us know in the comments below!
- https://www.history.com/news/what-is-juneteenth https://www.history.com/news/what-is-juneteenthhttps://www.history.com/news/what-is-juneteenth