Happy Juneteenth 2020!

Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when a group of enslaved black people in Galveston, Texas, learned that they were free from the institution of slavery. Unfortunately, this was almost two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. As much as Juneteenth represents freedom, it also represents how emancipation was tragically delayed for enslaved people in the deepest reaches of the Confederacy. Newly freed black people celebrated the first Juneteenth in 1866 to commemorate liberation and take pride in their progress. But a century and a half later, Juneteenth is still not taught in most schools, nor is the event a federal holiday despite decades of pushing from activists. In 1980, Texas became the first state to declare Juneteenth an official holiday. Finally after some peaceful and some not so peaceful protest amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2020, Washington, DC and nearly every other state recognize the day as a holiday or observance. There are a few ways you can celebrate this essential holiday.
1. Plan a family feast. Just like you would cook for Thanksgiving or Barbecue for Independence Day, you can sit around and talk about the meaning of the Holiday and how it is relevant with the events happening today.
2. Support Black-Owned Businesses in your area.
3. Donate to an organization that benefits the Black community and our causes.
4. Download a book by a Black Author and read about someone else’s story.
5. Do some self-reflection by journaling about your feelings surrounding the state of the U.S. today when it comes to racial injustices.
I will be celebrating today with my children in our neighborhood and will continue to teach them about this part of their heritage; the good, the bad and the Great! Happy Juneteenth.

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