When the last group of enslaved black people received word of the end of the Civil War and the beginning of their freedom, a celebration filled the air. Abraham Lincoln made the order for the liberation of enslaved Black people in Galveston.
The day was June 19, 1865, which we call Juneteenth. Over the years, it has become an important national holiday for African American families. The commitment to freedom is still crucial to this historic day.
Juneteenth can find you in the office at home or as you go about your errands. Or you could have planned to celebrate it with family and friends.
Thus, we have compiled some 12 ideas and activities on how to celebrate this historic day that changed the fate of African American descendants.
1. Spend Some Time Learning About the History
Celebrating doesn’t have to be merry-making. You can go down history lane and learn all about Juneteenth’s history.
You could search for it online. Additionally, you could read blog articles by The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African History and Culture. Their blog posts cover the history and Juneteenth celebrations.
Alternatively, you could listen to black-produced podcasts and audiobooks. For instance:
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2. Spare Time for a Documentary on Slavery
Another way to mark this auspicious day is to watch a documentary on slavery. It could be on Netflix, Youtube, or through your favorite Television channel. For instance, 13th on Netflix.
Drown yourself in the lives of our ancestors, what they went through, their pain, and, of course, their triumph of freedom.
3. Support Black-Owned Establishments
Why not buy from black-owned stores? Establish how much you’d like to spend on an item, and find the store. You could use an app like Blapp to locate black-owned businesses.
Buying from black-owned businesses during the Juneteenth period can help grow generational wealth, credit building, and so on. As one person doing this, it can sound futile. But imagine if a majority of African Americans and Juneteenth supporters could do this.
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4. Read Books Written by Black People
If you’re an avid reader, now is the time to read books by black authors. For instance, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou or The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. And any other black-authored book you may fancy.
5. Attend Festivals and Celebrations in Your Area
Should you feel you need more than reading a book or watching a documentary, attending outdoor celebrations could be your best bet.
This can be a fantastic way to bond with your fellow black community members. And if you have the capacity to volunteer your time, effort, and money, why not?
6. Visit a Museum
Taking time off and walking into your local museum housing African heritage history can be a great idea. And especially those museums that have information on Juneteenth. Check out your local directory for those that house African American history.
You don’t have to do it alone. You can take your kids, family, or friends with you and go down memory lane together.
7. Watch Movies by Black Producers
Juneteenth can be a good time to watch black-produced movies and movies featuring lots of black actors and actresses. It’s a way of appreciating their talents and effort.
For instance, you could watch any of Tyler Perry’s movies or go to Netflix and select what works for you. If you have a family, you can choose a film you can all watch. And if alone, choose what will fascinate you.
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8. Give Donations to the Black Nonprofits
You can donate to black-led nonprofit organizations that help improve the lives of black people. For instance, you can give to Black Teacher Collaborative or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Here are more:
You have lots of options. You could even support a small-scale not-for-profit black-led organization in your neighborhood.
And if you’re at work, here’s what you could do.
9. Find Speakers to Educate Your Staff About Juneteenth
As an employer, don’t let the day end without your staff marking Juneteenth. Find knowledgeable staff on black history matters. Or invite from outside your business.
Let them speak to your staff about what Juneteenth is all about. Let them appreciate the heroes and heroines who fought for the freedom they enjoy now.
10. Pay Your Staff Extra Time
If you can’t give your employees time off, why not pay them for extra time? They’re working on June 19 and may feel left out of the celebrations.
11. Include Juneteenth in Your Newsletter
Make your staff aware of Juneteenth by including coverage of this topic in your company newsletter. You could include the history, why the day is celebrated, and what it means for future black generations.
12. Don’t Use Juneteenth as Your Business Selling Point
Juneteenth is here. What do you see? Perhaps a business opportunity? In honor of this day, refrain from using it to promote your black-owned business. Take advantage of this day by creating content around Juneteenth on your social media or blog.
You can always find other occasions to promote your business.
Celebrate black culture through Juneteenth. Go that extra mile and make this day remarkable for others and yourself too. Are there other ways to celebrate Juneteenth? Let us know in the comments section.
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