Juneteenth. One of the most important days of the year for Black people, Black history, and even American history. While there is much pride and joy to be found in the holiday, we must never forget to acknowledge the significance behind the day.
The History of Juneteenth
Juneteenth, short for June 19th, is a holiday that has been celebrated by African Americans since 1866 in memorial for the day that enslaved people were legally freed. This holiday represents a critical turn in history, because although text books recall January 1st, 1863 as the date where slavery became illegal it took an additional two years to enforce. Each year we celebrate as we remember and cherish the memory of our ancestors who unwillingly spent all if not majority of their lives enslaved. We recall history, share it, and continue the tradition of celebration so that the lives of those affected then and now are honored.
The Importance of Acknowledging the Day
We celebrate and acknowledge Juneteenth because it is our responsibility to educate each generation. It is important for us to acknowledge the sins of our country’s past and reflect on where we are today, the progress we’ve made. Though, we still have a ways to go. Celebrating Juneteenth is a radical act of resistance and strength for the Black community. It is important that we continue to celebrate the day and acknowledge its meaning (even if stemmed from hurt) because it acts as a reminder to us all. Yes, Black people are no longer enslaved however, there are still practices in our democracy that discriminate against Black people and make things harder for us as a community. We MUST acknowledge where we came from as a reminder of where we are and the work that still needs to be done.
How to Show Support and Solidarity
Showing support alongside solidarity for Juneteenth is the act of supporting the overall good of Black people, period. March when injustices occur. Vote for radical change. Speak up and use your privilege to foster positive change. Promote equity. Support Black people in education, the workforce, our businesses and anything else that’ll add to the empowerment of us.
Vaila Shoes is a company operated and lead by Ahriana Edwards, a Black woman. You can support us by purchasing products, sharing our content, and referring people to us. The authenticity of support lays in consistency.
What other Black owned businesses are you supporting this Juneteenth and or support frequently? Comment below.