Celebrating Juneteenth and its Recognizing its Significance Today
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Celebrated on June 19, 1865, it was on this day that Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston Island, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. The Emancipation Proclamation had been signed by President Lincoln some two-and-a-half years earlier, but this was the first time that many slaves in Texas learned of their freedom.
This day became known as Juneteenth and is celebrated annually as a commemoration of African American freedom.
Juneteenth is more than just a celebration of freedom from slavery; it is also a celebration of African American culture and heritage. Juneteenth celebrations often include food, music, and dancing. Traditional Juneteenth foods include watermelon, fried chicken, and cornbread. Music and dancing are an important part of Juneteenth celebrations, as they are a way to connect with African American history and culture.
How to celebrate Juneteenth in your community
1. Get involved in your local Juneteenth celebration. Whether you are a musician, dancer, food vendor, or just want to attend, there is a role for you in your local celebration.
2. Learn about the history of Juneteenth. The more you know about this important day, the more you will appreciate it.
3. Connect with your African American friends, family, and community. This is a great time to learn more about each other’s culture and traditions.
4. Celebrate African American freedom! Juneteenth is a day to celebrate how far we have come as a nation, and to remember those who fought for our freedom.
5. Support African American businesses. Juneteenth is a great time to patronize local black-owned businesses.
6. Educate others about Juneteenth. Sharing what you have learned about Juneteenth with others is a great way to spread awareness and understanding of this important day.
7. Have fun! Celebrating Juneteenth is a great way to connect with your community and have fun at the same time. Plan a picnic, listen to music, or play games with your friends and family.
Why Juneteenth is significant for everyone
The spirit of Juneteenth is about unity and bringing people together in a celebration of African American freedom, culture, and heritage. It is vital in today's world of polarization that we come together and appreciate each other's cultures as well as our own. Juneteenth celebrates this spirit of learning, understanding and appreciating culture and history.