Juneteenth: A Family Guide

Juneteenth is a federal holiday celebrated in the United States which commemorates the end of slavery and celebrates African-American culture. In this blog we will give you a brief history of this important holiday as well as resources and ways to celebrate and honor this significant day with your family.

History

Where did the name Juneteenth come from? On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived and informed the enslaved African Americans that the Civil War had ended and they had been granted their freedom under the Emancipation Proclamation of 1862. "Juneteenth" combines June and 19. Celebrations originated in Galveston, Texas but this important date has continued to be commemorated for over 150 years. 

Although celebrated for many years, it wasn't until June, 2021 that Juneteenth became an official federal holiday. 

Ways to Celebrate

According to the National Museum of African American History & Culture, "Juneteenth is a time to gather with family and community, honor the present and reflect on shared history and tradition. Discover the tastes, sounds and experiences of this African American cultural tradition."

There are many ways to commemorate, learn, and reflect during this powerful time. These include: attending local and community events, heading to a nearby museum to take-in Juneteenth exhibits, supporting Black owned businesses, becoming more knowledgeable about the holiday and sharing with others, donating to organizations, spending time in reflection, and listening to those stories from past and present. 

Celebrate With Family

There are many ways to help your whole family learn about and celebrate Juneteenth this year. Check out your local library or bookstore for a variety of picture books which will help your family learn, celebrate and reflect. There are also fun and educational videos, such as this one from Sesame Street. 

If you'd like to get creative, your family can learn and create Juneteenth crafts such as these. There are also numerous community celebrations available for all ages that provide the opportunity for your whole family to come together and acknowledge this important date while fostering community. 

Resources

If you would like to learn more about this holiday and ways for you and your family to celebrate, visit the sites below! 

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