Happy Juneteenth ya’ll. I am so happy to have a day off to reflect and celebrate Freedom & Black Culture. It feels good to get a day of reprieve from the negativity with all that has been going on in the world this past few weeks. Most of all, it feels good to celebrate a holiday that is all OURS.
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863.juneteenth.com
I didn’t learn about Juneteenth in school. I honestly wasn’t aware of the holiday and what it represented until a few years back. At first I was ashamed that I didn’t know. But not anymore as they teach us HIStory in school. And I’ve since learned that it is our job to seek more knowledge about black history and culture, and celebrate our own traditions. Moving forward, I’ll be celebrating Juneteenth every year. I will also continue to seek out more knowledge about my people and my culture.
SHOP THE LOOK
I sent an email to my job’s new Diversity & Inclusion Committee earlier in the week. I expressed my interest in encouraging my employer to make Juneteenth a paid holiday. At first, I received a response that this was underway for next year. But later that evening we received notice that my employer decided to make Juneteenth a holiday. I’m pretty sure that other people probably stepped up to make this happen. Little ol’ me is not that important. However, I am proud that I spoke up for what I believe in and initiated change. Next, I’m using my voice to help Juneteenth become a National Holiday. You can use your voice and sign the petition here.
I’ve been celebrating by participating in virtual programming as I’m still in quarantine. I’m also going to watch a few documentaries and have a celebratory dinner with my son tonight.