Why Do We Celebrate Juneteenth?

Why Do We Celebrate Juneteenth?

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 during the American Civil War. This robust legislation announced freedom for the more than 3 million predominantly enslaved Black people. It took two further years to reach Texas, with people living in Texas not realizing that slavery had been abolished until June 19th, 1965. The news was greeted with dancing, prayers, and great jubilation. 

Texas

The first Juneteenth festivities occurred in Texas the following year, and June 19th was marked as a day of celebration and prayer gatherings. It did not take long for the celebration that became known as Juneteenth began to spread to other states, and the event became an annual occurrence that is still celebrated today. Prayer and religious services, lectures, educational programs, family gatherings and picnics, and festivals with music, food, and dance have all persisted across the United States up to the current day.

So, what do we celebrate today? Texas made Juneteenth an official state holiday in 1980. Other states soon followed, and in 2021 Juneteenth was made an official federal holiday. The day is also observed in other countries outside of the United States, with groups of people all commemorating the abolition of slavery. Furthermore, the date is also used to honor the culture and achievements of African Americans. 

Celebrating Freedom

Celebrate Juneteenth by attending a parade, picnic, or listening to music. It would likely have disappeared from the calendar if Juneteenth wasn't a part of the civil rights movement. The civil rights movement exposed the country's race relations problems, and Juneteenth is celebrated as a reminder of these issues. Celebrate freedom on Juneteenth and join the anti-racism movement. This day is significant for African Americans.

Honoring Black Authors

Celebrating Black authors on Juneteenth is a beautiful way to celebrate this significant piece of American history. Historically, Black authors were often overlooked in the publishing industry. Today, the industry is more willing to celebrate Black authors and promote their works. By observing this national holiday, authors can showcase their commitment to Juneteenth and their work. The benefits of doing so are many. 

Celebrating Black Economic Empowerment

During the week of Juneteenth, you can celebrate your Black economic empowerment by purchasing books and other products online. These products will feature Juneteenth-themed themes, including Black Excellence, Timewasters, and Amazon Originals. Many of these products are also available on Alexa, which can answer your questions about Juneteenth. 

Black Business

The month of Juneteenth is a time to honor black history and support black businesses. According to various Research polls, 64% of American consumers are more likely to purchase a product made by Black-owned businesses than from a white company. If it were not for Juneteenth, many black-owned businesses would not have a voice.

Commemorating Slavery

Finally, as Juneteenth is a national holiday, the date is an opportunity to confront the history of slavery. The civil rights movement exposed the country's racial problems, and Juneteenth was at the tail end of the civil rights movement, two months after the murder of a prominent civil rights leader. Today, many issues are related to race relations, but the day is still worth commemorating, and advocates hope that Juneteenth will catalyze dialogue.