All across the country you’ve been hearing of large corporations like Nike give their employees the day of June 19th, or Juneteenth, the day off. There have even been towns and governments making it a paid holiday. But why all of a sudden? It seems like just last year, nobody was really talking about Juneteenth and it went from a day that people may have heard of to a day that everybody and their mama wants to celebrate.
While some think that having another “Black day off” is a good thing, others believe we should use it as a call to action. Not to party or indulge in “Juneteenth sales” or celebrate “drink specials” at your local club, but to have a meaningful day of planning, strategy and action to manifest the dreams of our ancestors.
But to get a better hold on HOW to celebrate, we’ve got to know WHAT the actual holiday is:
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