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One Woman’s Decades-long Fight to Make Juneteenth a US Holiday - NPR

“Opal Lee is 94, and she's doing a holy dance. It's a dance she said she and her ancestors have been waiting 155 years, 11 months and 28 days to do. Ever since Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, to spread the news of the Emancipation Proclamation outlawing slavery in Confederate states. President Abraham Lincoln had signed it more than two years earlier. "And now we can all finally celebrate. The whole country together," Lee told NPR minutes after a landslide House vote on Wednesday approving legislation establishing the day, now known as Juneteenth, as a federal holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.”

What is Juneteenth? - History.com

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. On June 17, 2021, it officially became a federal holiday. “

How Brands Should Approach Juneteenth - AdAge

“Juneteenth—the day commemorating the freedom of slaves in Texas —became a moment last year for brands to engage consumers and audit their own commitments to diversity and inclusion in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. But as marketers cultivate their strategies around June 19 this year, there's a risk to appearing tone deaf, or worse.” 

Marketing Briefing: As Juneteenth nears, some brands’ lack of diversity shows in their performative marketing - DigiDay

“Holidays have long been an economic engine for brands to take part in cultural moments as a means to boost brand awareness. But increasingly, shoppers are becoming wearier of these moments being commercialized. Especially when those moments are meant for and created by marginalized groups.

“Those are real, authentic moments that have real feelings behind them,” said David Tann, founder and CEO of Atlanta-based creative consultancy and brand agency. “When you try to turn those things into capital moments, where you’re trying to make a buck off of it, you’re gonna get pushed back every single time.”

WATCH

Grandmother of Juneteenth, Opal Lee, Shares the Importance of this Historic Holiday - Southern Living

Opal Lee, known in Fort Worth as the "Grandmother of Juneteenth", is a 94-year-old trailblazer on a mission to generate greater recognition for Juneteenth across the United States. Opal has dedicated her life to educating others about the history of Juneteenth, while also encouraging them to celebrate this historic holiday each year. Today, Juneteenth symbolizes freedom, and it is a call to action for unity. Therefore, Opal Lee is currently advocating for Juneteenth’s consideration as a paid federal holiday! Tune in to learn more about this historic day, and how Opal Lee encourages others to work together to eradicate the racial disparity experienced in this country.

"None of us are free until we are all free, and freedom is what we still have to work towards." - Opal Lee

On Juneteenth- US National Archives

In On Juneteenth, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed tells the sweeping story of Juneteenth’s integral importance to American history and provides a historian’s view of the country’s long road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the enormous hardships that African-Americans have endured in the century since, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow and beyond. Joining Aneette Gordon-Reed in conversation will be Roy Young, CEO of James Madison’s Montpelier.

Why All Americans Should Celebrate Juneteenth - Vox

An historian explains the history and significance of the holiday. 

The Significance of Juneteenth, America’s First New Federal Holiday in Decades - PBS News Hour 

“As of this Friday, Juneteenth — the day marking the end of slavery — is a federal holiday. Typically observed on the 19th of June, most federal employees will be able to observe it a day early because it lands on a Saturday this year. After a decades-long effort by activists, President Joe Biden signed it into law Thursday, making it the first new federal holiday since 1983. Amna Nawaz reports.”

LISTEN

A Taste of Freedom - Code Switch a NPR Podcast

Juneteenth commemorates the day that enslaved Texans found out — more than two years after Emancipation Day — that they were free. It's also a day known for celebratory meals and red drinks. But as the holiday becomes more widespread, we wondered: Is there a risk that certain people (and corporations) will try to keep the food and lose the history?

The Juneteenth Mixtape - Be Antiracist with Ibram X. Kendi

Host Ibram X. Kendi expounds the history and legacy of Juneteenth, and what the day means to him. He passes the mic to Annette Gordon-Reed, Heather McGhee, Adam Serwer, Tiya Miles and Maurice Carlos Ruffin, who share how this day in American history shows up in their lives. Plus: the Be Antiracist team hits the streets of New York to check in with the community on how they’re celebrating the holiday.

Songs for Freedom: A Juneteenth Playlist - Spotify Playlist

Pianist Lara Downes has hand-picked a playlist of songs for the newly appointed holiday that are personal and powerful.

ATTEND

Freedom Fest Cleveland 

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery on June 19, 1865 - the day when all African Americans were freed from slavery. MetroHealth’s Cleveland Juneteenth Freedom Fest is set to become an annual destination event in the heart of Downtown Cleveland,  poised to position our community as a national leader in celebrating Juneteenth.

Set to take place on Saturday, June 18 from 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm on Mall C in the heart of Downtown Cleveland, the city-wide, family-friendly celebration and commemoration of Juneteenth will feature a main stage performance by Karamu House, the country’s oldest Black producing theatre and a fireworks finale.

Festivities will also include a vendor village to spotlight Black businesses and entrepreneurs; community programming and education, spoken-word performances, interactive art demonstrations, food trucks, and beverage concessions.

NYC Juneteenth Events 

NYC Parks Department will celebrate JUNETEENTH in many locations from Dyckman Farmhouse Museum and Marcus Garvey Park to the Urban Farm on Randall’s Island and the Lewis H. Latimer House in Queens.

LA Juneteenth Festival

Join LA Black History Month Festival in celebration of Juneteenth Day on June 19th 2022 at Westchester Park. Our programming includes African Marketplace, Multi-Cultural Performing Artists, Panel Discussion with topics focusing on Children Health + Literacy and LA's finest food vendors!

Support small businesses and notable African American Book Authors.

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Black Girls Run 

The goal of “Black Girls Run” is to encourage and motivate black women to practice a healthy lifestyle. We want to serve as a fitness resource for runners and gym rats alike, as well as provide tips and commentary on staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  But we also want to start a movement to encourage ALL women to get off the couch and get active. 

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