Starting today, June 18, 20201, Juneteenth is now officially a federal holiday after President Joe Biden signed the legislation that recognizes June 19 as the day that ended slavery in the United States.
Juneteeth comes from the words “June” and “nineteenth” and originally started as a celebration in Texas. U.S. Army Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended and slavery was abolished, two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
Now that Juneteenth is being recognized nationally, here are some ways to celebrate over the weekend.
1. Learn the full history.
If Juneteenth is new to you or your family, it would be great to learn more about the history of the holiday to truly understand. There are many resources that explain the events leading up to the holiday and how slaves in Texas were working an extra two years before knowing they were free. The best thing to do is to check out documentaries or reading books to learn more. Then once you learn, educate, and spread your knowledge to others.
2. Attend local events in your city.
Now that the holiday is more well known, you can attend local festivals. Check local listings to find ways in your city to celebrate. Find concerts, parades, and places where there will be coming together to celebrate the day whether it’s in person or virtually.
3. Have a celebration with family and friends.
As African-Americans in the modern-day civil rights movement, most people have agreed to cancel the Fourth of July Independence Day and replacing it with Juneteenth. With big holidays, we use it as a time to fellowship with our family and friends usually in a cookout. Treat Juneteenth like any other holiday and gather with your people to celebrate together and remember everything our ancestors went through for us to be here today. Get some food, music, and have a great time.
4. Support Black businesses.
Buying any product or service from a black business is one of the best ways to support our people on Juneteenth. Black-owned businesses have started to create sales around the holiday, making it the perfect time to support. If you’re strapped for cash, you can always share or refer someone to a black business instead.
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