I wish everyone a very Happy Juneteenth! Taking this day to honor the suffering, joy, contributions, and accomplishments of Black Americans is so beautiful, and deeply necessary. In the spirit of honesty, this is only the second time I have celebrated this holiday (last year being the first). I had never even heard of Juneteenth before 2020. Not the case for my sons though. If you have little ones and want to nurture an accurate and full historical context of American History in your babes (especially concerning slavery and the experience of Black People in our country), let's do it together.
Here are some amazing ways to introduce the meaning of Juneteenth, and explore why we celebrate it.
And while we are at it, I am thinking that most of my fellow white people were not introduced to the holiday until recently as well. PBS offers a bunch of videos to help us deepen our appreciation for the sacrifices and courage it took to bring an end to slavery.
If you have any ways that you have celebrated (or are starting to celebrate) Juneteenth, please share them with me! It is kind of magical that we get to create these traditions within our families, especially us white folks. So much is handed down to us for other holidays. This one is ours. We get the opportunity to pass down knowledge that was neglected (intentionally or unintentionally) by our predecessors... Kind of exciting, yes?
The image of Noel Lebeau featured in this article, as well as contextual information regarding it, can be found at The Library of Congress.