Happy June and Juneteenth! It was only just last year that this day was recognized as a federal holiday. While it may not be an older holiday, this day has always been recognized and celebrated by many across the United States.
So what is Juneteenth? It is a commemoration of the emancipation of slavery in the United States and a celebration of Black culture.
History of Juneteenth
In January 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation effectively declaring that people held as slaves in rebellious states are free. While this freed many people, it did not end slavery for all. It was not until after the Civil War ended that freedom was rightfully given for all. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce the liberation of slaves in the United States. Juneteenth (derived from June and nineteenth) commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. Since 1865, many Black Americans have celebrated this day with music, food and gathering.
Ways to celebrate
Learn more about Juneteenth and its historical significance - According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2021, 34% of Americans reported knowing a little about Juneteenth and 28% reported knowing nothing at all. Without learning about this historic event, it is difficult to recognize the ways in which Black Americans were impacted and are continually affected to this day. We encourage all people to read about this part of American history. We’ve attached an article that shares the history and significance of this day.
Have a Juneteenth celebration - Food is an integral part of many holidays and Juneteenth is no exception. If you would like to stick with tradition, then eating red food is the way to go. According to an article in the Washington Post red foods “are used to symbolize resilience and joy”.
Support Black Owned Businesses - Supporting local or small Black businesses in your community is a great way to celebrate Juneteenth. Below is a directory that you can use to search for businesses near you.
The fabric of American history is a reflection of the shared experiences and perspectives of all American people. We believe that learning about the history of the Black experience in America is a starting point for progress and transformation for our entire country. We hope you take some time to reflect on this day and to celebrate with new and old traditions.
- Team Mediclo