Juneteenth: 19 Resources for Reflection, Expectation, Joy, and Celebration

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June has become an important month for focusing us on two ideas – freedom and pride. For both of these celebratory occasions, they exemplify how we can take challenging and even oppressive stories and turn them into a larger idea and celebration. Juneteenth celebrates the day (June 19, 1865) when Major General Gordon Granger ordered the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas. Said another way, though the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued to end slavery as of January 1, 1863, Black Texans didn’t learn of their freedom until two and almost a half years later.

Possip Founder and CEO, Shani Dowell, reflects on the meaning of Juneteenth and shares resources to consider this holiday.

Juneteenth has come to represent celebration, great food, and a reflection on freedom and progress. When multi-generational Black Americans consider the distance we have traveled in a relatively short time, we know we have much to celebrate personally and a lot of inspiration and celebration to share with the greater American community.

Resources for Juneteenth Reflection & Expectation

  1. Learn: Juneteenth – Senses of Freedom: Exploring the Tastes, Sounds and Experiences of an African American Celebration | National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian
  2. Learn: 19 Children’s Books That Celebrate Juneteenth and Black History | Save the Children
  3. Learn (and visit any National Park for free!): Juneteenth National Independence Day | U.S. National Park Service
  4. Read and reflect: Honoring the thousands of  Black teachers who lost their jobs after the Brown v. Board ruling | Chalkbeat
  5. Read and reflect: My Education Journey: Elevating Black Voices | ASCD
  6. Parents: 6 Guides for Talking to Your Kids About Race and Racial Injustice…and Life (A Multi-Part Series) | Possip and part 2: 6 Guides for Talking to Your Kids About Racial Justice (Part 2) | Possip
  7. Teachers: Create a lesson plan for students such as this one: Images from the Past, Images from the Present: Black Excellence, Resistance, and Joy Yesterday and Today | Pulitzer Center
  8. Lead: Recognize the meaning of the holiday: How Your Organization Can Recognize Juneteenth | Harvard Business Review
  9. Act: Visit your local art museum and advocate for their collection and exhibits to include African American artists: Art equity is still a long way off in US institutions, new study reveals (2022) | The Art Newspaper
  10. Watch Possip Founder and CEO, Shani Dowell, reflect on the history of Juneteenth and what it means to her as a Houstonian:

Transcript:

What is the history of Juneteenth and what does it mean to you now?

Hi, I’m Shani Dowell and I’m the founder and CEO of Possip. I’m excited to spend some time as a Houstoian reflecting a bit on what Juneteenth means to me. As you may know, Juneteenth is the day when we celebrate the freedom of all enslaved Africans as it is the day in Galveston, Texas where General Granger, a Union general, came and shared that all enslaved people were free. There’s debate about whether or not that information was known before that day but it underscores two things. One: none of us are free until we’re all free and secondly, we’re not free until we know we’re free. And to me, freedom is really lots of things but it involves joy, reflection, celebration, expectation.

On this Juneteenth I’m excited to just take advantage of all those opportunities to reflect, expect, celebrate, be joyful, so I hope you’ll do the same. Growing up in Houston, Juneteenth is something we always celebrated and it was always a time of joy.

So while you’re educating and reflecting, remember to celebrate: eat your favorite foods, do your favorite line dances with your family, and just have a good time. Happy Juneteenth from us at Team Possip.

Resources for Juneteenth Joy & Celebration

  1. Get inspiration: Black Excellence in Education: Organizations and Alliances in the Spotlight | Possip
  2. Read and reflect: Civil Rights Movement Activists, Black Educators, & Trailblazers: My Grandparents | Possip
  3. Eat at or order from a black-owned business near you! For example: Just Eats for Tennessee Foodies | Our favorite Instagrammer @justfoodtn features restaurants owned by BIPOC across Tennessee 
  4. Eat a piece of history: 20 Historic Black-Owned Restaurants You Need to Eat At | Food Network
  5. Celebrate in a city near you! The 14 Best Places to Celebrate Juneteenth in 2024 | U.S. News & World Report
  6. Celebrate Black Music Month by visiting the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville online!
  7. Support and learn about contemporary African American artists in your community: 11 Contemporary Black Artists You Should Know | Art & Object
  8. Host a cookout or family feast: 19 Recipes From Black Food Bloggers to Celebrate Juneteenth | Food52
  9. Rest: Rest as a Practice of Resistance and Freedom | National Equity Project
Celebrate