American history is one of the most chronicled epics of recent centuries. However, for many Americans, textbooks and generational storytellers oftentimes omitted key information about our nation’s past that has undoubtedly shaped our future. We’re here to get the facts and set the record straight.
While most people from Texas, and the United States in general, may know about significant battles like the Alamo and historical figures including James Bowie and Stephen F. Austin, the history of African Americans in the Lone Star State has its own powerful significance.
This year, we’re taking a deeper dive into American history with an exploration of Juneteenth. Keep reading to take a 5-minute history course about Juneteenth and learn three easy ways to celebrate and support Black Americans during the historic holiday and year-round.
What Is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. It is celebrated on June 19th every year. On June 19, 1865, enslaved Black Texans were at last notified about their freedom, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which became official on January 1, 1863.
These Texans were the final group of previously enslaved people to be made aware of their emancipation in the country. Upon hearing the news, free people felt a myriad of emotions and began making plans for their new lives as liberated and recognized citizens. As a result, Juneteenth is now observed annually around the globe through parades, spiritual worship, festivals, and family fellowship. Though not yet a recognized federal holiday, the number of people observing the day in the U.S. and abroad has increased exponentially every year.
Interested in learning more? Get additional information about Juneteenth here.
Three Ways To Celebrate Juneteenth
Here at AfterShokz, we’ve made the decision to add Juneteenth to our list of paid company holidays. We will be using this time to share resources and continue education around the holiday on our website and social channels: Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Here are some ways you can celebrate the day:
#1: Attend A Virtual Event
If you haven’t yet attended a Juneteenth event, it’s an experience that you don’t want to miss! Check out celebrations in the Texas area, including drive-thru and virtual options here, or attend a live Soul Food cooking demonstration, African drumming, and more here.
#2: Shop Black-Owned Businesses From Home
One of the easiest ways to celebrate Black entrepreneurs and support a local economy is to shop Black-owned businesses online. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite Black-owned health and wellness brands to shop from anywhere with WiFi below!
Enjoying an online shopping spree? Check out even more Black-owned wellness brands to support here.
#3: Make A Donation
If you’re feeling philanthropic, making a donation to an organization fighting for racial equity and justice is a powerful way to raise your voice! Donate to the National Registry of Juneteenth Organizers and Supporters here, or the Black Lives Matter Foundation here.
Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself and learn more about this important day in our nation’s history. You can learn more about how AfterShokz is planning to take a stand against racism here.