Happy Juneteenth

by Briana Harry

June 19th is a day for celebrating and indulging in radical self-care as a Black person in America. While the country we inhabit celebrates its own independence on July 4th, that holiday commemorates a time when we, ourselves, were not free. It is a breath of fresh air to be in a time when our independence is more widely considered a celebration. For many, Juneteenth was something never heard of until recently.

Now that it’s getting the attention it very much deserves, it’s important to determine for self the best ways to celebrate. Like a lot of holidays, for more covert reasons, celebrating Juneteenth includes an underlying heaviness. We can’t deny the necessity of celebrating, but the circumstances that made the event necessary to begin with are hard to not think about. Here are some ideas to consider for a Juneteenth celebration that works for you.

  1. Gather. Now, that it’s become more safe to do so, enjoying time with the people you Love is always good to do, but especially now. This time last year was heavy for Black people, and on top of it all, we were mostly in isolation. Enjoy the Love and the commonality of your people.
  2. Cook a meal. Whether in a group or not, food is a staple in the community. Learn to make a relative’s recipe, or look one up from the times of Juneteenth’s origins. While not seen as free, Black people have always been creative. There’s so much to try.
  3. Indulge in self-care. Radical self-care is celebrating freedom. So, taking the day for yourself and catering to your immediate needs, that’s perfect.

This is just a few examples to shake off the obligation of what “should” be done to celebrate. On a day truly created to celebrate freedom, exercise yours to honor it in a way that feels best for you.