What is Juneteenth and Why Do We Celebrate?

Our OnderLaw team believes in commemorating important historical milestones and promoting justice and equality. As Juneteenth approaches, we want to take a moment to talk about the significance of this special day. How did Juneteenth come about? Why is Juneteenth important? And how do we honor and observe this important occasion?

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday celebrated annually on June 19th. It marks the day in 1865 when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of slavery, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln. This historic proclamation was a major step towards the abolition of slavery in the United States.

Why is Juneteenth Important?

Juneteenth symbolizes the liberation of enslaved African Americans and the realization of their long-overdue freedom. It serves as a reminder of the struggles endured by Black Americans and their ongoing fight for equality and justice. This day is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on our nation’s history and commit ourselves to creating a more inclusive and equitable future.

How Can We Observe Juneteenth?

1. Educate Yourself and Others

Take the time to learn more about the history of slavery in the United States, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the significance of Juneteenth. Share your knowledge with family, friends, and colleagues to foster understanding and promote dialogue.

2. Attend Juneteenth Celebrations and Events

Many communities organize Juneteenth parades, festivals, and cultural events. Participate in these gatherings to engage with the rich heritage, traditions, and achievements of African Americans. Support local businesses, artists, and performers who are involved in these events.

3. Reflect and Discuss

Engage in meaningful conversations with friends and loved ones about the history and the impacts of slavery, racial equality, and social justice. Use this time to listen, learn, and empathize with different perspectives and experiences.

4. Support Black-Owned Businesses

Show your solidarity by actively supporting Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Explore local restaurants, shops, and online platforms that promote Black excellence. By doing so, you contribute to economic empowerment and help foster a more equitable society.

5. Engage in Community Service

Consider volunteering your time and skills for organizations that work towards racial equality, social justice, and uplifting marginalized communities. This could involve participating in mentorship programs, supporting educational initiatives, or joining local advocacy groups.

6. Amplify Black Voices

Use your platform, whether it be through social media, writing, or public speaking, to amplify Black voices and stories. Share educational resources, recommend literature by Black authors, or highlight Black artists, activists, and leaders who inspire you.

As we approach Juneteenth, let us remember the importance of this historic day and honor the struggles and triumphs of those who fought for freedom and equality. By observing Juneteenth, educating ourselves, engaging in meaningful discussions, and supporting initiatives that promote racial justice, we contribute to a more inclusive and equitable society. Together, we can build a future where every individual is respected, valued, and celebrated.