In wake of the recent movements, many black and brown people in America are tapping into what it means to be an African in America. From books, to initiatives, to educational dialog’s which I have been hosting, people more than ever are willing to sit down and have REAL conversations about systematic race and discrimination in America.
Twitter’s CEO, the governor of Pennsylvania, Nike and other leaders have deemed Juneteenth an official holiday and are striving to create a company culture and national day which educates and unifies people moving forward. But what exactly is Juneteenth and how should you celebrate as people of color? And how can non people of color get involved?
Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, or the Black Fourth of July Juneteenth which is observed on June 19th is an annual observance day that commemorates the day when General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and announced that union soldiers were forced to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation (June 19, 1865) and all remaining slaves were now “freedmen.” Although it has not been recognized federally as a national holiday, the day continues to be celebrated by black and brown people in America and for some has taken the place of the traditional Fourth of July American celebration.
Although 150 years have passed, there are still so many people of color who don’t know what it means to truly be free in America. From systematic oppression to laws and continuous violent acts of racism and discrimination, many of my friends (including myself) are questioning whether being a American citizen is truly for them. As a melanin female, I am tired of seeing all of the injustice and hardships that my people continue to face. Having to work twice as hard to prove we BELONG, and fit into “White America” has resulted in a societal delusion of what it truly means to be melanin and proud.
So in 2020 and moving forward, I am challenging all of my people of color this Juneteenth to educate yourself and your families. Whether it be through books, audibles, or e-books. Spend time learning our history.
Support a black owned business or start your own. We have to build economically. Foster a conversation with thought leaders and work to provide solutions whether it be in your community or immediate family. It starts with us!
This week I am highlighting Rico and Stefanie Paschal, owners of 2Gink. A family owned and operated business located in South Atlanta. Sharing love, peace and “happy feelings” through custom apparel, the dynamic duo are leaving their mark in Atlanta within the printing industry.
2Gink has recently expanded their printing business to “Yard Celebrations” called “2GinkMyYard” to honor birthdays, graduations, holidays, and much more! Check out their recent install of a Juneteenth yard celebration.
To check out their full line of 2Gink apparel, custom yard signs, and Juneteenth shirts, you can visit their websites and IG’s below:
- Email: 2GinkMyOrder@gmail.com
To my Caucasian friends, educate yourself. There are so many resources (many of which I have included at the bottom of this blog) that you can read which will provide you with a greater understanding of what it means to be black in America. And if you have some black friends see if they are having a cookout and ask to join them. Not to criticize, critique, or fit in, but to come with an open heart, mind, listen, and have fun. Oh and enjoy some good BBQ, drinks, and music while you’re there.
My hope is that Juneteenth will be recognized as a national holiday and serve as the starting point for bridging a gap which has been left void and damaged in American society for years. This is an opportunity for all of us to learn. We know that all lives matter, but as black and brown people we want Black Lives to be just as important.
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