Juneteenth is recognized as, and is believed to be, the oldest commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. While many reference the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation as the end of slavery, June 19, 1865 is celebrated as the day Union troops made their way into Galveston, Texas, to free those who were still enslaved.
Yearly celebrations are held to remember this historic day, but the quantity and scope of recognitions has substantially increased in recent years.
Like many holidays and days of remembrance, there are long-standing traditions for some. For others, the way in which these celebrations take place is still new.
We’ve compiled a few ideas on how to honor the traditions of this day and its significance on the history of America
Many communities and organizations host events to mark the remembrance of Juneteenth. The largest in our region is believed to be the Juneteenth festival held in Albany. Be sure to check out local community calendars through social media, local media outlets, and even local business organizations, to find an event near you.
Popular TV and music streaming services offer great ways to easily access history about the day and its place in American history. It’s never been easier to view and listen to the works of black creators who tell the stories from both the past and present-day.
Whether you like the feel of a book in your hands, or are a fan of listening to books on tape (my new love), there are some incredible powerful works that are worth the time investment. This list of authors has it all – history, essays, art, fiction, and much more.
The history of Juneteenth celebrations is not without traditions at the table. From barbecues to strawberry soda, many of these traditions play a big part in bringing people together. Included in the conversations about Juneteenth and food is a varied history of the incorporation of red foods into the celebrations.
There’s no denying that the food associated with the Juneteenth holiday has made its way into popular culture more than ever before – one example is this series of recipes put together by the Food Network.
Locally, the 21-Day Equity Challenge is led by the United Way of the Greater Capital Region. During the challenge, which begins on June 19, participants complete activities that inspire discussion, action, and change surrounding issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership. The challenge is open to anyone from individuals to companies (CDPHP employees will be participating in this challenge in June 2021).
The Capital Region is full of nonprofit organizations working diligently to help individuals and families. Nonprofits in need of support, as well as volunteer opportunities, can be found through social media feeds, popular volunteer websites, and in this list of organizations we profiled during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
One last suggestion is to check out this incredible list of Juneteenth resources and information compiled by the National Museum of African American History & Culture.