Are you planning to celebrate Juneteenth this year?
Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates the end of slavery. On June 18th, 1865, slaves in Galveston, Texas were told that they were emancipated and were free. This was two years after Lincoln abolished slavery with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, but slavery was still practiced in many places.
With the official announcement that slaves were free by Union Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, Juneteenth became a historical day for Black people in this country.
Also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, Juneteenth is an official holiday in many states, including Texas, which was the first state to make it state holiday in 1980.
Juneteenth has grown in popularity over the years, and is truly symbolic this year because of what is currently going on in our country. Black people have been celebrating its importance, but especially now, Juneteenth is a holiday that should be honored by everyone.
I am sharing 25 Ideas to Help You Celebrate Juneteenth in order for you to get involved in carrying the message of equality and freedom. Many of these ideas can also be done while social distancing with your household.
1. History lesson
Gather together as a family unit and research Juneteenth and its significance. Have each family share a historical fact about this important day in our history.
2. Movies and popcorn
Watch movies about the Black experience on streaming services. Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu are sharing free movies that can help you understand better the struggle of Black people in this country.
3. Say it loud
Encourage others to celebrate Juneteenth and participate in activities virtually.
Get more familiar with Juneteenth by reading books about it. You can also read books that share Black history as well.
Encourage your workplace to celebrate Juneteenth as well and create a display for the workplace that is Juneteenth centric.
Come together online and host a Zoom or Facebook Live to spread the word about Juneteenth and have people share their experiences.
7. Wear it
Make celebratory Juneteenth t-shirts as a craft with your family or order t-shirts online and wear them proudly. Please purchase the shirts from a Black owned business.
Enjoy a family day in the backyard and have a cookout with all of your favorite foods. Make sure there is plenty of music.
46 states have declared Juneteenth an official state holiday, but 4 states haven’t. If you live in Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana, contact your local officials to let them know that Juneteenth needs to be a state holiday. As of this writing, “Juneteenth Independence Day” has passed in the Senate, but is still waiting for House approval. Get in touch with your state house reps to let them know you want them to pass this important resolution.
10. Buy Black
Buy from Black businesses all day on June 19th.
Put up decorations around your home inside and out to show your festive mood.
12. Virtual Celebration
Connect with other family members online and have a virtual celebration.
Find out if your church is hosting or organizing a Juneteenth event. If not, offer to create one for church members.
Get on your social media channels and spread Black history facts with your followers.
Have your kids write a poem or a short story that is about Juneteenth.
16. Family Tree
If you are Black, research your family tree and find out more about your ancestors. Share your findings with your family.
17. Activity sheets
Here are some great activity sheets for your children to help them learn more about Juneteenth. You might even learn some things, too.
18. Sweet Treat
Eat Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Click HERE to find out why!
Watch the Juneteenth episode of Black-ish from 2017 on Hulu.
Watch the Juneteenth episode of Atlanta.
21. Voter Drive
The way to create change is by voting people in office who believe in equality and justice for all. Share voter registration links online and participate in a voter registration drive in your area.
22. Kid’s Books
Do you have a family recipe that has been past down from generations? Why not make it on Juneteenth with your family?
24. New Traditions
Create a new family tradition that can be passed down to the next generation. Make it Juneteenth specific.
25. Virtual Tour
Take a 30-min, virtual tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Slavery and Freedom exhibit.
Whether you are Black, white, or other, celebrating Juneteenth is important to us all, as it is a part of our history. I hope my list inspires you to do something with your family on Freedom Day.
How are you celebrating Juneteenth this year? Let me know in the comments.