Celebrating Juneteenth

This Saturday, June 19th, we are celebrating one of the most important anniversaries in US history. Juneteenth commemorates the day that enslaved African-Americans in the city of Galveston were finally informed of their freedom on June 19, 1865, about two and half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863. However, slavery in the US did not end on June 19th, 1865. Many states attempted to hold onto the system of slavery after the Emancipation Proclamation. Nonetheless, Juneteenth and the Emancipation Proclamation represent the federal government taking a stand against slavery.
People have been celebrating Juneteenth ever since the Proclamation. In the beginning, Juneteenth was used as an occasion to help newly emancipated black people learn about their voting rights. Juneteenth celebrations have expanded to include cookouts, parades, church services, musical performances and other public events to celebrate empowerment and hope rooted in emancipation.

As Juneteenth becomes more widely recognized and celebrated in the United States, we encourage you to find a way to celebrate Juneteenth in whatever way allows you to reflect on and acknowledge the history that Juneteenth represents. Below, we’ve listed a few of our ideas for how to celebrate Juneteenth this year.

  1. Support black-owned businesses

Supporting black-owned businesses is a great way to celebrate Juneteenth and show support for black business owners. Find black-owned businesses to support in your area throughout June and the rest of the year to provide the goods and services you need. 

  1. Celebrate and gather

If you are comfortable, participate in Juneteenth celebrations held by your city or neighborhood as COVID-19 restrictions become less stringent, or celebrate with friends and family.

  1. Look forward

While recognizing that Juneteenth is an important historical event to celebrate, also acknowledge the change that still needs to occur in the United States regarding racial equality. Research ways for you to protest racial inequality in your area, whether through attending events held by organizations to support black communities, participating in Juneteenth Freedom Marches, or pressuring lawmakers to prioritize legislation that takes steps towards racial equality.

  1. Donate to organizations that support black communities

Celebrate Juneteenth by donating to organizations that support black communities. This is a great way to support organizations that align with your values and the causes you are passionate about.

  1. Learn the history of Juneteenth and have conversations about it

It is important to celebrate Juneteenth by acknowledging the full history behind the holiday and educating yourself. You can read books and online articles about the history of Juneteenth and have open and honest conversations about the holiday with your friends and family.


However, you choose to celebrate Juneteenth, remember to rest, reflect, and support others in their celebrations. Juneteenth is a day to celebrate hope, freedom, and joy. You deserve to celebrate the holiday in a way that makes you feel fulfilled and restored, however that may be.