America is filled with historical holidays to celebrate everything from the serious and ceremonial to the silly and sentimental. As black people, many of those holidays are painful, bittersweet reminders of our history in this country, but there is one holiday for us that doesn't get nearly the recognition it deserves: Juneteenth.
If you don't exactly know what Juneteenth is (don't feel bad, many others don't know either), here is a quick little lesson on why it's so important and should permanently occupy a place on your holiday calendar.
Juneteenth (June 19) is the commemoration of the abolishment announcement of slavery in Texas and the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the southern parts of the U.S. Currently, it is a recognized holiday in 45 of the 50 states. Furthermore, Juneteenth is also celebration of the rich history and culture of African-Americans.
Now that you know what it is, the next thing to do is find out ways you can celebrate this year's Juneteenth in style. Check out our suggestions for fun and memorable ways to celebrate the black experience that is Juneteenth. For more information and celebration ideas, visit Juneteenth.com.
Organize A Block Party
Invite neighborhood residents to attend a block party that not only celebrates Juneteenth, but also encourages community involvement and activism. In addition to having food and entertainment, also feel free to invite local elected officials, community leaders, and guest speakers to attend.
Volunteer In Your Community
Giving back to your community through volunteer service is perhaps the best way to celebrate our ancestors and commemorate Juneteenth. There are endless ways to volunteer, including leading a neighborhood clean-up, raising money for schools in the community, or organizing a donation drive to underprivileged families.
Attend Holiday Celebrations
A quick Google search should provide you with a list of Juneteenth celebrations in your area. This is a great way to get into the holiday if it's your first time and also allows you to make friends in your community. There are parties, performances, exhibits, and more to choose from, so feel free to attend as many as you like.
Spreading the knowledge about a crucial part in our history as African-Americans is one of the best and easiest ways to celebrate Juneteenth. Whether you're educating the youth about Juneteenth's importance or choose to involve everyone, as long as you get the word out, that's all that matters.
Host A Themed Dinner Party
Everyone loves a good dinner party, especially one that surrounds a theme. For your Juneteenth-inspired dinner party, you could serve up a traditional soul food meal and after dinner, go around the table and ask your guests to explain what Juneteenth means to them.
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