Another Year is in the books and we are coming up on another Juneteenth!
If you are just learning about Juneteenth, click here for a brief history lesson.
If this pandemic has shown us anything, it has exposed a lot of friends and family of their ignorance and miseducation. From watching Black people being murdered on social media with no filter, to watching white privilege attack the Nation’s Capitol with minimal punishment.
Social media has essentially forced its users to become familiar with the Juneteenth holiday within the last year. So much so, that on June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden officially, signed into law, legislation that makes Juneteenth a federal holiday. While that may seem like a victory to you, it is a baby step towards the ultimate goal….seeing our race represented and treated fairly in the healthcare, education, socio-economically, etc. According to the article by Yale University, there is still work to do!
“As we mark the 156th anniversary of Juneteenth on Saturday, I will take time to reflect on the pain and progress of the last several months, the contribution of so many members of our community who are helping us to do better, and recommit to the important work ahead as, together, we address inequity and racism,” “I hope you will join me.”
That is obviously going to be a process so in the meantime, educating ourselves to become better people should be the priority. Here are some resources to learn about Juneteenth, including a short rap about Juneteenth.
Another cool image, from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. They decided to fly the Juneteenth flag for the week as a symbol of awareness to become better and whole as a country.
To add another bit of accountability from those companies that supported us by saying “Black Lives Matter”…Here are some of the companies responses to Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday.
Today is a day to celebrate the true freedom of all Americans, so in that, take some time to learn one more thing that you didn’t previously know, and try and offer the same resources to educate our non-POC counterparts. I, for one will be attending some events to educate myself and enjoy some great food. Check out the list below from an article from Travel and Leisure:
The Carolina Core – a region encompassing cities such as Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point – is honoring its heritage as a major player in African-American history over Juneteenth weekend. Greensboro, which was home of the Civil Rights Sit-in, will host Juneteenth events all weekend long, including Juneteenth GSO: Farmers Market Edition, Arts Legacy Awards, Black Food Truck Fest, and much more.
For something different, the Historic Magnolia House, one of only four Green Book sites in North Carolina, will be offering a special lunch menu inspired by historic Juneteenth meals. The house has also partnered with the Greensboro History Museum to organize a bike tour highlighting famous African-American sites.
And in Winston-Salem, locals and visitors can celebrate the holiday at the Juneteenth Festival with music, dance, food, panel discussions, and arts and crafts.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Fort Wayne’s Juneteenth celebration will take place at the Art Leadership Center. The event will include musical performances, community discussion, an event honoring community elders, a young adult gathering, and a promenade torch ceremony to close out the event.
Fayetteville, North Carolina
The Juneteenth Freedom Festival in Fayetteville is here to “honor the sacrifice of our ancestors and share the cultural heritage of slaves and their descendants through entertainment, art, education, and an ever-present, always-developing sense of community.” This year’s celebration takes place online, meaning no matter where you are you can join in and listen to music, speakers, workshops, and other vendors. Sign up for the virtual event here.
Chattanooga is extending the Juneteenth celebrations all month long. It’s hosting the 4th Annual Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas from May 31 through June 25. During that time, the community will present works of music, dance, visual arts, film, and spoken word. Most events will be held on MLK Boulevard in honor of Black Wall Street. The main event, Juneteenth Independence Day, will be held at Community Haven in East Chattanooga.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
The Juneteenth celebration in Colorado Springs will be a free, three-day event from June 18-20 at America the Beautiful Park. The event is a “celebration for people of all races, nationalities and religions joining together as one body to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today.” It will include performances by local step show talent, a car show, a fashion show, and plenty of games and activities.
Loudoun County, Virginia
On June 19, Leesburg, Virginia will host its inaugural Juneteenth Celebration at Ida Lee Park. The day-long event, running from noon to 6 p.m., will celebrate with a variety of musical acts, including the Chuck Brown Band, food, and craft beverages.
Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles Public Library will host another virtual event with its “Juneteenth Joy Virtual Celebration.” The event includes a performance by DJ pastelShade, and asks you come ready to dance from your living room. “This event will invite movement through dancing, ancestor remembrance through ritual, and an opportunity to collectively celebrate our liberation and resilience,” the library says. Learn more here.
New York City, New York
New York City will host the Juneteenth NY Festival from June 18-20. The three-day festival includes POMP, which the festival organizers describe as “our play on Sir Edward Elgar’s classic tune of Pomp and Circumstance that when heard often signifies graduation or a regal entrance musical ensemble designed for royalty. Our Juneteenth Pomp is a family-based experience that leads youth 14-19 years old into a cascade of learning through leadership training.” See more about the festival here.
From June 18-20, Fint will host its largest Juneteenth celebration to date. It will include a vendor expo, a gospel festival, and even a parade down Saginaw Street ending at Berston Field House. See all event listings here.
What are some of your ways to celebrate? Let us know on our social media @blerdofficial