With police brutality at an all-time high and Black Lives Matter protests gaining major traction across the world, there is no better time to celebrate and showcase Black pride. And there is no better way to do so than by ringing in Juneteenth the right way.
Juneteenth—a national holiday that is celebrated annually on June 19th—marks the historical day that thousands of enslaved Blacks in Texas received the news that they were finally free from the bounds of slavery on June 19, 1865. While former President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 stated that all slaves were to be freed, Texas was a holdout state that refused to accept the new law.
As such, slavery continued until General Major Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and read the federal order to abolish this inhumane system. Once the news spread like wildfire, yearly celebrations were in motion. The state of Texas even declared June 19th an official holiday, thus Juneteenth was born.
While you may not have been well-versed about the holiday, now is good of time as any to pay homage to our ancestors on this special day. And if you’re ready to showcase and celebrate Black pride, follow our list below to make your Juneteenth celebration a productive and memorable one despite COVID19.
One of the best ways to celebrate Juneteenth is to go out and protest. As we have already seen, we are so much stronger together as a people than on our own. Get together with your friends, family and loved ones and hit the streets. There are plenty of organizations that would love to share the pavement with you.
2. PLEDGE TIME TO BLACK LIVES MATTER ORGANIZATIONS
With our brothers and sisters stepping out in hopes of making a change, it’s important to show support to the organizations that have been a driving force in Black communities across the country. Whether that’s donating time to your neighborhood NAACP branch to call legislators and decision-makers for justice for our people, or simply collecting donations for people who are arrested due to protesting, using your time can give you a sense of pride and purpose.
3. HOST A VIRTUAL FAMILY GAME NIGHT
Since it may be hard to connect with family members in person due to the effects of the pandemic, that shouldn’t get in the way of making memories and learning more about out culture. Consider hosting a family game night about Black culture. After all, there is no better way to bond with your loved ones than revisiting our history as a people. And as the saying goes, you have to know where you been, to know where you’re going.
4. WATCH A JUNETEENTH INSPIRED FILM
Want to take in a day of Black cinema? Kick back and relax with a movie inspired by Juneteenth. The film, “Miss Juneteenth” is a great way to learn about our history as people while helping to inspire you to be the best version of yourself. Highlighting a fictional Texas Miss Juneteenth pageant, Black women compete for the chance to win a scholarship to a historically Black college. The main character, Turquoise Jones, who was a past winner of the crown, is determined for her 14-year-old daughter Kai Jones to win the competition. A story about the struggles life can bring, family issues and more, this movie is a must-see.
5. SHOP BLACK OWNED BRANDS
It’s always a great time to go shopping and this Juneteenth make it extra special by only shopping Black-owned brands (and you really should all of the time). No more than ever, it’s essential to keep our dollars in the community and giving back to small business is a great way to pay it forward. Whether you;re shopping beauty, fashion, lifestyle, wellness and more, there are tons of brands out there that are offering the goodies you need.
Keep in mind, no matter how you decide to celebrate Juneteenth, it’s important to take a time to reflect. Juneteenth is all about celebrating our strength as a people, the struggles we’ve overcome and the battles we’re determined to win. With that being said, Happy Juneteenth!