Celebrated in Texas since June 19, 1865, Juneteenth is a lesser-known holiday that commemorates the day enslaved African Americans in the city of Galveston were finally informed of their freedom, about two and half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. As descendants migrated across the South, celebrations appeared in different cities and continue to gain traction throughout the rest of the nation.
Today, Juneteenth is a national holiday that celebrates life, freedom and family! Traditionally, Black families celebrate the holiday by attending rodeos, parades or street fairs, cooking barbecue and eating red foods such as strawberry soda or red velvet cake which symbolize the resilience of the enslaved people.
Other ways to celebrate include supporting Black-owned businesses, listening to Black artists, reading books written by Black authors, watching television shows and movies starring Black actors, visiting an exhibit or museum dedicated to Black culture, donating to organizations and charities, and participating in voter registration! Check out our list of resources below for educational tools, as well as Black-owned businesses and organizations to support.
Emerald Health Services recognizes Juneteenth by providing a day off to corporate employees to celebrate and acknowledge the significance in American history. We invite you to join us in celebrating Juneteenth within your community and starting a fun new tradition for yourselves and your families.
Juneteenth Resource List
- Black-owned businesses
- Directory of Black-owned businesses – https://www.beyonce.com/black-parade-route/?q=&page=1&category=all
- Black Owned Everything – https://blackownedeverything.co/
- More Than Enough – Elaine Welteroth
- Minor Feelings – Cathy Park Hong
- Good Talk – Mira Jacob
- So You Want To Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo
- How To Be An Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi
- Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson
- The Source Of Self-Regard – Toni Morrison
- The Color Purple
- Fruitvale Station
- Black Panther
- Coming to America
- Get Out
- GirlTrek’s Black History Bootcamp
- Black History Year
- Black History in Two Minutes
- Virtual tours:
- Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Slavery and Freedom exhibit – https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/celebrating-juneteenth