Celebrating Juneteenth: Freedom, Reflection, and Family Conversations

Juneteenth, the 19th of June, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. While the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, enslaved people in Texas, the furthest Confederate state, weren't informed of their freedom until over two years later, on June 19th, 1865. This day became a symbol of liberation and a time for celebration for Black communities nationwide.

Juneteenth is a chance to celebrate Black freedom, heritage, and resilience and reflect on the ongoing struggle for racial justice. Talking to your children about Juneteenth is important in fostering their understanding of history and creating a more equitable future.


Having Conversations with Your Kids

Talking to your kids about slavery and racism can be informative and impactful for their learning empathy and compassion for people, Here are some tips to guide you:

  • Age-appropriate conversations: Tailor your discussion to your child's age and understanding. Younger children might benefit from picture books and stories about Juneteenth traditions, while older children can delve deeper into the historical context.
  • Start with open-ended questions: Encourage curiosity by asking questions like "What do you know about Juneteenth?" or "How do you think people felt when they were finally free?" “How do you think people are still affected by slavery today?"

  • Be honest and acknowledge the complexity: Don't shy away from brutal truths, but answer questions honestly and in a way that is appropriate for their age.

  • Focus on resilience and hope: While acknowledging the past's struggles, highlight Black Americans' strength and perseverance throughout history and explore Black history before and beyond slavery.

  • Connect it to the present: Discuss how the fight for racial equality continues today and how we can all be allies.

Educational Resources for All Ages

Here are some resources to help you educate yourself and your children about Juneteenth:




Celebrating Juneteenth as a Family

Juneteenth is a time for joy and celebration. Here are some ways to celebrate with your family:

  • Cook a traditional Juneteenth meal: Popular choices include red velvet cake, barbecue, and collard greens.

  • Listen to music: Juneteenth celebrations often feature Gospel music, blues, and African drumming. Play music and have a dance party!

  • Attend a Juneteenth celebration: Many communities host parades, festivals, and educational events. This is a great way to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Juneteenth.
  • Learn about Black history and culture: Explore museums, historical sites, or read books together about Black achievements and contributions.

By having open conversations with your kids, celebrating Juneteenth as a family, and utilizing educational resources, you can foster a deeper understanding of Black history and contribute to a more just future.


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