At Lime Ricki, we’ve been spending the last few weeks listening, learning, speaking out, and taking action in hopes of becoming better allies and bringing awareness to the injustices faced by the Black community in this country. Today we’re sharing how we’re celebrating Juneteenth!
What is JUNETEENTH?
Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, is the oldest nationally celebrated holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19th 1865, nearly two and half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers led by General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce that the war had ended and that all enslaved people were now free.
This video by The Root explains the history of Juneteenth and the lasting cultural significance of this holiday.
You can also read more about the history of Juneteenth at the juneteenth.com website.
How Do We Celebrate Juneteenth?
Historically, Juneteenth is celebrated with festivities ranging from barbecues, music, and family and community gatherings, to education, activism, and self-improvement. It is a day to commemorate not only the events of June 19th 1865 and the official end of slavery, but to celebrate the progress we’ve made, and acknowledge the continued fight for the equality of African Americans in this country.
This is our first year celebrating Juneteenth – and that, admittedly, shouldn’t be the case. We are committed to doing better and encourage our community to do the same! Let’s dive into some ways you can join us in celebrating today:
Educate Yourself and Others
Today is a great day to not only educate yourself about the history of Juneteenth, but also about the work of anti-racism and the issues faced by marginalized people. Here are few detailed and helpful lists to get you started:
- Anti-Racism Resources Google Doc
- A Detailed List of Juneteenth and Anti-Racism Resources
- Anti-Racism Books for Kids and Teens
Set some time aside with your family and/or friends to acknowledge Juneteenth and the significance of this holiday. Talk about the struggles faced by communities of Color and how you can use your voice, power, and privilege to work towards a more diverse, safe, and inclusive society for all. It’s also important to reflect inward and see where you can make improvements in yourself!
ATTEND a JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION IN YOUR COMMUNITY or online
From car caravans, to marches, to block parties, there is likely some sort of Juneteenth celebration happening near you. You can check your local news outlets or community social media channels or even a quick Google search for festivities in your community, though the current coronavirus pandemic might make celebrations look a little different this year. Be sure to follow all CDC guidelines when it comes to public outdoor gatherings and don’t forget your face mask! If you prefer to stay home, you can join in on a virtual Juneteenth celebration. And if you’re missing the museum experience, you can also check out this interactive tour by The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Support Black-Owned Businesses
Supporting Black-Owned businesses is an easy and effective way to help close the wealth gap and enact lasting social and economic change. While it’s important to support these businesses always, Juneteenth is a great day to make it a priority! You can easily find Black Owned businesses in your area using the Support Black Owned website directory and app. If you’re local to Utah, you can also find a list of Utah Black Owned Companies from BLM Utah. In addition to supporting businesses, you can also diversify your feed and follow Black influencers and makers on social media.
Don’t stop here
However you plan to celebrate, remember the spirit of Juneteenth even after today is over. Make a commitment to support the Black community and do you your part to help end racism year-round. Attend a march in your area, continue to donate to causes that help fight injustice, continue to educate yourself, and continue to listen to and amplify Black voices around you. Use today as a jumping-off point for real and lasting change and help make the world a better place.
We also recommend following educators we’re learning from: Rachel Cargle, Monique Melton, Layla F. Saad, Austin Channing Brown, Brittany Packnett Cunningham