How to Properly Celebrate Juneteenth

I first learned of Juneteenth when I began lesson planning for an African-American Literature class I taught to high school students. I was astonished and angered that such a historical event was never taught during my high school and college years. I attended a predominantly black high school and an HBCU in the south. It seemed egregious that this would be just overlooked and now believe it was just another piece of history hidden in plain sight.

The History
Juneteenth originated 153 years ago today when General George Granger delivered the news of freedom to the slaves in Galveston, Texas a small town about an hour southeast of Houston. Some believe it took two years to spread the word because plantation owners in the deep south were still angry about losing the Civil War and wanted to exploit their slaves as long as they could.

For more than 150 years they built their wealth and livelihood on an oppressive system where our ancestors were mere pieces of property to them and their families. The truly horrific truth is that these same types of acts are being perpetrated on our people and in our communities and still reverberate throughout our justice and economic systems today.

Why it’s important

It’s essential that we educate our kids and ourselves about our proud and resilient history. We can do that by