It has been almost a month since I have had to take a step back, start to reflect on my experiences, and realized that I had a LOT of learning to do. I want to raise my kids to be kind, compassionate, and anti-racist human beings. IT STARTS WITH ME!
This is why I am learning about and celebrating Juneteenth this year!
I have seen the notification of the holiday on my calendar before but had never actually taken the time to learn. If I want to raise good humans, I need to be learning and setting the example to teach my children how to stand up for what is right!
What is Juneteenth?
According to Juneteenth.com, “Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.” Here I learned that just because President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation declared all slaves to be freed, they weren’t. The North still had to win the Civil War. It was nearly two and a half years AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation was official.
On June 19th, 1865, General Gordon Granger and the union soldiers finally arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce that the war had finally ended and that those enslaved were now free! This led to jubilation throughout and widespread celebration.
How is Juneteenth Celebrated?
Celebrations such as barbeques, games, and rodeos, have all been ways to celebrate Juneteenth in the past. However, according to Juneteenth.com, “Juneteenth almost always focused on education and self-improvement.” This truly resonated with me as I started to think about Juneteenth in 2020. I am here to learn, to take in the meaning of this day, and pass it on to my children. I am focusing today on improving myself. As I think about how I am learning and growing, I know that it is still not enough; it will take action.
Juneteenth is still not a national holiday. One thing we can do today is help raise our voices to show Juneteenth deserves to be a national holiday! I am ready to help others understand the significance of this holiday on the calendar app. I am ready to use my voice in collaboration with others to make a change and raise our children to be better.
Ways to celebrate, support, and learn about Juneteenth!
- Sign this petition to support Juneteenth becoming a paid holiday by companies here in Toledo.
- Educate yourself on Juneteenth.
- Read about a local Toledo filmmaker debuting her documentary honoring the holiday here.
- Outdoor celebration in Bowling Green with music, food vendors, and featured artwork. Link to the event here.
- Participate in the virtual 2020 Juneteenth Music Festival.