Or as some may call it: Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, or Emancipation Day!
Juneteenth is a day that commemorates freedom and emphasizes the education and achievements of the African-American community! With joined hands and collective efforts, Juneteenth has grown into week-long, and even month-long celebrations held in truthful dignity of this pivotal moment in time that shaped our country, and has continued to influence our society today.
The importance of each of us acknowledging and educating ourselves on the significance of June 19th lays in the understanding and empathy of the conditions and experiences of others.
On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordan Granger, landed in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended, and the enslaved were now free. This day has since been what we now know as Juneteenth. Rightfully so, with each year, Juneteenth has grown in popularity, and has become a nationally recognized day of observance.
Juneteenth is known as the oldest celebration commemorating the abolishment of slavery in the U.S. Yearly celebrations are a time for us to reassure each other of the hope of the ways to go in our country, and gather together as descendants who have enduring generational plight. So much so, decades later, former slaves and descendants continue to embark on an annual pilgrimage to Galveston to pay their respects to our ancestors who were lost and lived through this moment in history. A more informed world, is a more understanding world, and we can take those steps one day at a time.
Here are some Juneteenth celebrations happening right around our facilities that you can partake in this weekend!
BKB West Loop + Lincoln Park: Celebrate Juneteenth in Chicago
BKB Somerville: 11 Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth in Boston
BKB Eckington: How (and Where) to Celebrate Juneteenth in D.C.
If you’re in the D.C. area join us for free coffee and $2 scoops at Nicecream (Shaw) for some necessary conversation, and to cool down from the city heat as we celebrate the members of our community, and participate in one of the greatest days in our country’s history!
Happy Juneteenth, everybody!
-Uju Obianwu (Community Manager, Eckington)