Let's keep this super simple.
Juneteenth, Emancipation, Jubilee Day is meant as a celebration.
Highlighting the trauma and heavy narratives can be placed on hold.
We must celebrate what we want to see more of (freedom from oppression).
If this is the first or second time you are officially celebrating Juneteenth, don't feel bad. You came to the right place.
This article gives you an introduction, resources, and ways of celebrating Juneteenth.
Let’s start with a bit of history.
On July 4th, 1776, America left Britain's oppression under King George the III.
That independence from Britain’s oppression meant freedom for America. However, not everyone was free.
Enslaved Africans did experience freedom and continued to be enslaved.
Then in 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, freeing all enslaved people, but some slave owners in opposition migrated to Texas along with about 250,000 enslaved humans.
It wasn’t until 1865 when Gordon Granger arrived in Texas where he established new leadership and freed the enslaved people. That date was June 19th, 1865, known by many names Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day, and, as you might hear in the workplace, Juneteenth.
While there has been a 4th of July celebration since 1776, that isn't the true date that all people experienced freedom on American soil.
June 19th, 1865, was the day everyone in America was freed.
That is the celebration of Juneteenth.
How should you celebrate Juneteenth?
This is where most people get confused.
I’ve noticed that there is a lingering reminder of how much trauma and injustice has happened when it comes to Black culture and history, even if the moment calls for celebration.
It’s as if while celebrating your 10th birthday, everyone reminds you of all the hardships and hurt that happened in the past 10 years.
While it’s important to understand history to prevent it from repeating in different forms, we will continue to attract more of what we don’t want if we never know how to heal or transcend.
Yes, we need to understand the history, but we don’t need to bathe in it.
Doing so keeps us stuck and feeling like crap, and as a Black person, it doesn’t feel good.
Ways To Celebrate Juneteenth
Learn history. Black History is American History. It’s important to know how things happened and since most of the Black history was shared in isolated incidences, doing your research is the best way to get the complete story.
Support making Juneteenth an official recognized holiday. Adding your name to this petition says that you believe that Juneteenth should be a national holiday.
Use food as a focus. There is an amazing series on Netflix right now called High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America ... Black food is American food. So watch, find a dish, make it, and enjoy it as a family or community.
Play a Juneteenth soundtrack. Listen to the music across the decades.
Here’s a nice playlist.
Say happy Juneteenth. Let others know you are celebrating this day. Say something like, 'Happy Juneteenth; may this day bring you blessings and abundance.'
Rest. This goes out to everyone as I speak to myself. I love this quote:
Take the day off and let others know. Aligning with rest and taking the day off is important. Here is a creative way to let people know you’ll be out of the office in celebration and honor of Juneteenth while providing some helpful education.
Full Template provided by HellaJuneteenth. For more templates, click here.
Embrace healing. We've been through a lot already. Use this day to reflect and seek out ways to heal. For enslaved people to hear they are free and contribute to humanity was a big breakthrough. The healing process has been happening since then and is how we will continue to move forward.
Show Company Support. Join thousands of companies that have publicly committed to observing Juneteenth. Add your name to the list.
Support Black artists, authors, and filmmakers. There is a lot of art and expression on Juneteenth and authors that have created books specifically for Juneteenth. Buy and share their book, watch their film and share a thoughtful comment or host a discussion.
Read Books that Celebrate. Children’s books are the best way to introduce and learn about Juneteenth - and are a good start for even adults. They’re not heavy and give a narrative that invokes curiosity. Here’s a good list to pick from.
Create our own traditions. That doesn’t amplify trauma and heaviness in celebratory moments of Black culture and history. For example, my mom shared stories of her getting strawberry soda and running through the sprinklers after school.
Us the unity within our humanity. It will guide us to the changes we wish to see in the world.
I’ll end with this:
History is the perfect reminder of what we can do better as humans.
Juneteeth is the beautiful celebration of freedom and representation of change.
Celebrate Juneteenth right and in high-vibe.
Happy Juneteenth, may you be blessed with prosperity and abundance.
Light, Love, and Gratitude,
Culture Circle is a culture consultancy focused on creating healthy and inclusive workplace cultures. We help companies achieve those hard-to-reach goals (profitability, productivity, retention, best candidate attraction, protect reputation, and more) while keeping humanity intact within the workplace.
Using anthropology and humanity to do DEI differently, create Humanity Departments, and help companies achieve the goals and growth they desire.
Want a better culture? Let's connect today. Visit CultureCircle.co or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.