“Juneteenth is a day of reflection, a day of renewal, a pride-filled day. It is a moment in time taken to appreciate the African American experience. It is inclusive of all races, ethnicities, and nationalities as nothing is more comforting than the hand of a friend.” – Juneteenth.com
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is June 19 and the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. In 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major General Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news the war had ended and the enslaved were now free. This was two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, but the arrival of General Granger’s regiment was finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. The army announced more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state were free by executive decree.
How to celebrate Juneteenth
Juneteenth can be considered our country’s second Independence Day. It is not a day to take off, rather it is a day to ‘take on’ and spend time learning about the history, liberation, resilience, and fortitude of Black Americans. Historically in Colorado, the Five Points neighborhood in Denver holds a celebration, but due to COVID-19 restrictions it is not occurring this year. Learn about the history of this celebration here.
Educate and Discuss- Set some time aside during the day, whether at a mealtime or gathering of friends, to acknowledge Juneteenth and its history. Reflect on the struggles of Black Americans and make a pledge to use your own position of power to continue to make changes towards a diverse, equitable, and inclusive society.
Display Your Celebration- Create a yard sign, decorate your doors or windows, or wear a button to encourage others to celebrate Juneteenth. By displaying your celebration publicly, you are bringing awareness to others.
Join in a celebration- There are a lot of celebrations happening, both virtually and in-person. Please check in on live streams before joining with your child to make sure you are comfortable with the content currently being streamed. Here are just a few to check out:
Thursday, June 18 7 p.m. MT. Juneteenth Music Festival Live Stream
Friday, June 19 1:45 – 4 p.m. A Juneteenth Celebration of BIPOC Voices (in person and livestream)
Friday, June 19 1:30 – 4 p.m. Lift Your Voice: A Juneteenth Celebration hosted by Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts
Saturday, June 20 2 – 8 p.m. We Live: Juneteenth Celebration at Denver’s Civic Center Park
Check out the Black Lives Matter mural painted on Broadway near the Colorado Capitol in Denver.
Learn how Girl Scouts is taking action against racism. Show your support and sign GSUSA’s online pledge.
Want to learn more? Check out Juneteenth.com