Listen. Acknowledge. Reflect. Juneteenth (short for "June Nineteenth") marks the day when the last enslaved people in Galveston, Texas were freed. It was a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Although largely seen as a day of celebration, we must take time to acknowledge this history in a way that helps us usher in actionable change in our communities. There is still much to be done, but we think a great place to start is to continue spreading awareness and education. This is part of how we can all solidify our commitment to fighting against racial injustice and inequity.
We’ve included some helpful resources and ideas for you to explore:
#1: Do a 21 Day Equity Challenge
Join in on a 21 Day Equity Challenge with your organization with daily prompts and interactions. They're all free to sign up and are continually created and shared. Start with one and then explore the library and do more over time!
#2: Read books about Juneteenth for all ages
Whether it’s literature for you or stories for your children, Antoinette Scully’s compilation provides a robust selection for readers of all ages. It’s a great place to jump-start your thinking and inspire conversation. Be sure to put these on your to-be-read (TBR) list stat!
#3: Attend a virtual event
The National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) is hosting free events all month to help families engage in history and learn ways to share Juneteenth with others. You just need an internet connection to tune in!
Also, be sure to check Juneteenth’s website as it gets closer to other events worldwide.
#4: Support Black-owned businesses
Part of acknowledging yesterday is also continuing to amplify Black voices today. This list from NY Mag gives you many options to put your dollars toward and show your support. Follow businesses on Instagram and like, share and comment to boost the algorithm, so they are seen!
#5: Educate yourself on the holiday and history
Engage with the media accumulated by the NMAAHC – learn about the origins of the national anthem song “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” as well as records, activities and more. This page from the museum is filled with valuable insights about the history, food and culture around Juneteenth itself.
What will you do for Juneteenth?
Whatever you do, stay aware of the racial injustices that continue to permeate the world. This time is for us to celebrate, reflect and take action based on our insights. Everyone’s positive voices will help us come together and ensure everyone has equal opportunity and feel like they belong.