Let’s Celebrate Juneteenth And What It Means
Juneteenth is a holiday that has gotten national attention, especially since the Black Lives Matter movement gained more traction in 2020.
Yet despite its renewed importance in American society, there are so many questions, like ‘What is this holiday?’ and ‘How do we appropriately celebrate Juneteenth?’
This guide answers those questions, discusses the history of this day, and shares unique ways that you can join the celebration.
Celebrate Juneteenth! Here Is What Means To Black Entrepreneurs
There’s no doubt that many of us have always recognized the Fourth of July as the ultimate American holiday. In honor of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, we gather with our loved ones to celebrate, whether it’s at cookouts or local parades in our best red, white and blue attire.
However, when we choose to celebrate Juneteenth, we choose to recognize a lesser known part of U.S. history. We choose to acknowledge a more comprehensive definition of American culture, and observe when ALL Americans were considered free.
You see, to Black Americans (and entrepreneurs), Juneteenth is a day we get to center our Blackness in the form of celebrating our ancestors, our culture and our history.
The History Of Juneteenth
On June 19, 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to make sure everyone who was enslaved would be set free. This historic event took place two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, and marks the official end of slavery in the United States.
As a result, Juneteenth has been referred to as Freedom Day, Emancipation Day or Jubilee Day. And the official name, Juneteenth, serves as a reminder of when celebrations should take place - June Nineteenth (June 19th).
However, it wasn’t until June 2021 that this historic day became a national holiday.
The Meaning Of Juneteenth From 3 Ohio Black Entrepreneurs
Now, let’s hear from Black business owners in Columbus, Ohio to learn what this day means to them.
Chanelle Redman, Co-Founder of replenish: the spa co-op
“Juneteenth is a space to hold sacred to honor and give libations to our African and black ancestors who are all a part of the archives of love. To have gratitude and deep reverence for our souls' endurance, courage and the spiritual work cultivated in our lineage of blackness on planet earth. It’s an invitation to remember that restorative care and unapologetic rest is at the forefront of the mountain. We must continue to climb but this time with more awareness for the inner compass and the support from our spirit guides. If only we listen. Tune in~ward that is. May this day be a blessed day. A reminder of our power and glory for our innate genius that lives with~in.”
Jennifer Sanger, Founder of Jamison & Bexley
“Juneteenth, to me, is the official freedom day for Black Americans since only White Americans were free on July 4th. Unfortunately, I only learned about Juneteenth as an adult. However, now as a mother, I'm able to tell my children about this day and its importance for the African American culture.”
Aerryel White-Clarke, Founder of B.Eclectic
“Juneteenth plays a significant role in America’s fight for racial and social justice. It can feel bittersweet but celebrating this day and what it represents is a reminder that fighting for freedom is worth it. It also gives Black Americans the opportunity to celebrate all aspects of our culture and our resilience. Happy Juneteenth!”
Supporting Black Owned Businesses
There are several ways to celebrate Juneteenth with Black Americans, including reading a book by a Black author and listening to an album by a Black artist.
However, we’re going to focus on intentionally supporting Black owned businesses on this day (and throughout the year). Here’s how you can do this.
(1) Shop at a Black Owned Businesses Online or Locally
You can discover options via a “black owned businesses near me” Google search. Or you can review lists from top websites like Oprah Daily.
Of course, you can also check out hashtags on social media like #blackownedbusiness or #blackbusinessowner.
And lastly, you can ask your family, friends and colleagues if they have any Black owned businesses that they love to support.
(2) Amplify Black Businesses on Social Media
This can be done with two actions.
First, you can promote great Black businesses on apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Sharing a new or old product you like on your timeline will let others know that this business exists. Plus people generally trust a recommendation from a loved one.
Secondly, speaking of recommendations, you can write a review about the products, services and customer service of Black businesses on sites like Google and Yelp. Facebook is also an option, particularly if the business has a business Facebook page.
(3) Offer Your Time and Resources
Maybe you have a specific skill that you know would help a Black business thrive, like content marketing or business development. Or maybe, you’re able to connect a local business owner with a trustworthy professional who could provide services they need to expand their business.
What about mentoring a young business leader?
Either way, look for possible ways to volunteer time or resources.
Of course, money helps but guidance can be just as valuable!
Whether you’re Black or not, it’s never a bad time to celebrate every American’s freedom!
Remember that each year as you recognize this significant event.
P.S. What does Juneteenth mean to you?