What are you doing for Juneteenth? No pressure.
Whether you celebrate the holiday or not — one thing for sure is its prominence and rapid acceptance nationwide. Now in its second year of being recognized as a federal holiday, the newly cherished day is embraced by many after President Joe Biden signed it into law in 2021 – one year after Floyd’s murder.
First made a state holiday in Texas in 1980, Juneteenth was initially celebrated in the south with a nationwide ripple effect with northern states picking up on the trend. After Floyd died in 2020, along with the nation’s eyes on other high-profile police killings of Black people — many people realized the brutality reality.
Juneteenth – also known as “Jubilee Day,” “Liberation Day,” and “Emancipation Day” – celebrates the enslaved people in Galveston, Tex., finally being read their notice of emancipation. Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, but the message did not reach everyone until 1865 — two years after the proclamation and two months after the end of the Civil War.
Juneteenth marks the moment that all Black Americans knew they were free, and has been celebrated as an Independence Day ever since.
Author Nicole Taylor can relate. Taylor wrote a Juneteenth cookbook, “Watermelon and Red Birds,” and plans to celebrate the day by unwinding, and rightfully so.
“I want to relax as much as possible,” she said in a published article.
If you, too, don’t want to make a big fuss over the Juneteenth holiday, but still want to have some low-key fun, here are a few tips on how to honor the day while making space for yourself:
- Find a Juneteenth event in your neighborhood to attend with family and friends.
- Join a Walk for Juneteenth that honors the day then treat yourself to a nap.
- Host a small backyard party.
- Cook some traditional cultural foods or favorite soul food recipes that bring you back to your youth.
- If you do venture out to purchase something – don’t forget to support Black-owned businesses.
- Unwind by listening to Black artists.
- Veg out and watch Black TV shows and movies.
- Read books written by Black authors and poets.
- Spend quality time with family and go over memories and stories as a bonding activity.