How to Commemorate Juneteenth
Juneteenth, or “Black Independence Day,” commemorates the freedom of enslaved Americans in the United States and is identified as the first Black American holiday. Short for “June Nineteenth,” the holiday marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to inform enslaved people they were freed.
Since the late 1800s, many Black Americans have honored Juneteenth as the commemoration of the struggle of enslaved persons and communal celebration of Black liberation. However, its history is multifaceted and brings about a multitude of feelings and perspectives from across the Black diaspora. As communicators, we must be familiar with this history and the feelings this commemoration evokes, if we are to counsel clients effectively.