Juneteenth: Educating, Honoring and Impacting

Author: Angel Liverman
Posted: Jun 16, 2023

Topics: Culture

For most Americans July 4th is looked at as Independence Day. We get the day off, barbeque, spend some time in the pool and maybe even attend a fireworks show. However, for myself and many other members of the Black community, Independence Day looks a bit different. After the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, it would take an additional two years for slaves in Texas to hear of their newfound freedom on June 19th 1865. Thus Juneteenth, one of the nation’s most recently federally recognized holidays is celebrated yearly across the United States

What originally started off as a small gathering in Texas has grown to include weeklong celebrations featuring festivals, 5ks, and of course; food, music, and games. While fun and relaxation are at the forefront, Juneteenth is also an opportunity to highlight the work that still needs to be done to ensure justice and equality in the United States. To many African Americans, Juneteenth at its core is a time for reflection, rejoicing and reclaiming our power.

Now that you’ve learned about the history of Juneteenth, you may be wondering how you can make an impact or honor this significant holiday. As an ally or a member of the Black community, you can start by supporting Black owned businesses and highlighting Black voices. According to a recent Nielsen Consumer Report, the buying power of Black consumers is projected to reach $1.8 Trillion by 2024 and 56% of African American purchasing decision is driven by companies’ stances on racial injustice social issues. However, the idea of supporting Juneteenth shouldn’t have to center around monetary or societal gain. Juneteenth is the perfect opportunity to get involved with local organizations driving positive change. Sponsoring, volunteering, or hosting Juneteenth events are just a few ways you can make an impact. 

Today’s Juneteenth celebrations are an opportunity to pay homage to the past while also acknowledging a way forward for the future.

Numerous Juneteenth celebrations are taking place across the US, but here are few taking place this weekend in Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Norman and Tulsa.

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