Juneteenth Celebrations At Casa De Corazón
This Juneteenth, we look forward to sharing with our children the importance of this day, remembering key historical events, and honoring African American culture. We strive to honor all cultures and understand the benefits of a diverse world. Through these important intercultural celebrations, we aim to communicate the importance of openness and compassion to our children. Learn more about Juneteenth and share important messages with your child!
Juneteenth is short for June 19th and marks the day the abolition of slavery was declared in all states. Although the emancipation proclamation, signed on January 1, 1863, declared that all slaves were to be freed immediately, this was not the case. The loophole in the proclamation made it so that slave-holding border states and rebel areas did not have to oblige. The proclamation read as follows “All persons held as slaves within any state or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free”. Confederate states had to follow the mandate which forced slave-owners to seek other territories.
As the north continued to advance through the confederate states, slave owners traveled to Texas. Texas at the time practiced slavery freely. Although news did eventually reach the west-most state at the time, they did not oblige. So in 1865, almost two and a half years after the proclamation was signed, Major General Gordon Granger arrived with federal troops to declare the end of slavery in Texas. However, this information was still withheld a while longer, and it was not until December that the 13th Amendment was passed to officially outlaw all slave practice.
Emancipation Day or Jubilee Day was the name of the first Juneteenth celebration. Recently freed slaves would celebrate by dancing, singing, praying, and reading the proclamation. It is important to note that they did so despite large threats against their lives from groups in the area. However, their sense of joy and newfound freedom gave them the courage to celebrate and do what they wanted.
Juneteenth became a federal holiday starting in 2021. Texas became the first state to officially recognize this as a holiday in 1980 and Minnesota became the fourth in 1996.
Why is Juneteenth important today?
Following the death of George Floyd, and others like Breonna Taylor and David McAtee, people recognized the work that still needs to be done in the fight against racial injustice. People recognized the disparities in our criminal system. Juneteenth emphasizes everything black people have fought for over the years, but also everything else that still needs to change to become a more welcoming, inclusive, and respectful society for all its members.
How can we celebrate Juneteenth?
Check your city’s celebrations! In the Twin Cities, there are events at local libraries to teach kids about this holiday, its history, and its importance. There are also events at local parks filled with parades, music, and food. Other ways to celebrate include:
Reading age-appropriate books about slavery and Abraham Lincoln, or books by black authors such as Maya Angelou or Toni Morrison.
Support black-owned businesses.
Reflect on ways you can make your community more inclusive and diverse.
Do community service.
Cook some traditional foods or order from a black-owned restaurant! Here is a list of cookbooks from black authors.
Listen to black artists.