Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.
Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long over due. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.
Dear Germs, Juneteenth has finally been recognized as a national holiday. But there is so much more that needs to be done. So. Much. More.
Here are just a few things we can do to educate, respect, and celebrate:
- Read books by Black authors
- Support Black artists
- Invest in Black-owned businesses
- Find an event in your area celebrating Juneteenth
- Educate yourself on Juneteenth by visiting Juneteenth.com