Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, a new federal holiday was honored by legislation that signed it into law, even though it has been celebrated for over 150 years. Juneteenth is the holiday that commemorates and celebrates the freedom of all Black people in the South that were enslaved. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1,1863, it took another two and half years for this information to travel to Galveston, Texas and inform the slaves there of their freedom. The officials in Texas announced slavery was abolished on June 19th, 1865. The 15th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified six months later to outlaw slavery nationwide.
This holiday celebrates the culture, history and pride as well as the strength and resiliency of black communities. It is important to honor such events and holidays to make the time to remember and heal.
Below are intention-setting ideas for you to consider for honoring our collective history on this Juneteenth holiday:
- Read a Book. Below is a list of books (for various ages) to consider reading to honor this holiday:
- Addy: An American Girl (a series by Connie Rose Porter)
- Freedom’s Gifts: A Juneteenth Story (by Valerie Wesley, illustrated by Sharon Wilson)
- Crossing Ebenezer Creek (by Tonya Bolden)
- Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds)
- Juneteenth (by Ralph Ellison)
- The Brightesst Day: A Juneteenth Historical Romance Anthology (by Kianna Alexander, Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart, and Piper Huguley)
- Watch a Video/Movie. If you prefer watching something to reading, below is a list of movies to consider to honor this holiday:
- Miss Juneteenth
- Slavery by Another Name
- Civil War (or, Who Do We Think We Are)
- Whose Streets?
- Join a Celebration. Search for gatherings in your local area and plan to attend with friends and family.
- Sip a Red Drink. Red beverages (and foods) on this holiday are symbolic of the blood shed by the slaves. Perhaps plan to have some Hibiscus tea or Strawberry soda as part of the celebration of this holiday.
- Support a Black-owned Restaurant. If you were thinking of going out for a meal (instead of mingling in the crowd of a local celebration), perhaps search for local black-owned restaurants in your area and perhaps order a red drink too!
As always, if you try any of these intention-setting ideas for holistic health, I would love to hear about the impact they might have had for you. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to share!