Juneteenth is an annual celebration to commemorate the day when news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached Galveston, Texas, thereby freeing more than 250,000 people still enslaved in the state. Juneteenth is a day of celebration, but it's also one for reflection and education on ways we can help to end racial injustice. We can all become advocates by starting that work from within our homes. Discussions with our families about the meaning of Juneteenth, encouraging the learning of Black inventors, artists, writers, and musicians, and even incorporating meals created by famous black chefs are all ways we can learn.
This Juneteenth, join us in honoring and celebrating the many ways Black people and their culture have positively impacted our history and daily lives. Read a book with your littles or engage in a craft activity or prepare a meal rooted in the history of Juneteenth. Here is a great list of activities, books, and sites below for you to partake and enjoy, all while recognizing that they all became possible because of the freedom gained on Juneteenth.
Read together as a family
These age-appropriate picture books are a great way to introduce the holiday to your little ones. After you read together, have a conversation about what you learned.
- Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper
- Juneteenth Jamboree by Carole Boston Weatherford
- All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson
Family-friendly educational activities
Participate in family-friendly activities together that revolve around the history of Juneteenth. Use the time together to discuss the importance of the holiday and take a moment to pause and reflect.
- Make a cardboard Junteenth Flag like this one from Crafting a Fun Life. This banner with a bursting star in the middle is symbolic of the end of slavery in the United States.
- For a sensory craft with your littles, try this button flag craft by Happy Toddler Playtime.
- Visit the Black Inventor Online Museum to learn about the accomplishments throughout history that wouldn’t have been possible without freedom. Read about inventors who created products or devices that have made our everyday lives better!
Cook and share a meal
Celebrating over a meal is a Juneteenth tradition. But it also creates time and space to learn about the history and meaning behind different foods while trying some new recipes from black chefs and content creators. Here are a few of our faves:
- Soul Rolls by Erika Harrison of Black Girls Who Brunch
- The Ultimate Vegan Mac & Cheese by Shanika Graham-White of Orchids & Sweet Tea
- Honey & Buttermilk Cornbread by Rachel Whitfield of Chef Curl Ardee
Red foods, including red velvet cake, are also symbolic on Juneteenth as a reminder of those who lost their lives during slavery.
Support Black-owned businesses
Another way to celebrate is by supporting Black-owned businesses online and in your local community on Juneteenth and beyond. Here are a few resources to help locate Black-owned businesses:
- Use the EatOkra app to find Black-owned restaurants near you!
- Shop for products and household items from independent sellers on We Buy Black.
- Shop small and support Black artists and creators, including these sellers on Etsy.
We always love hearing from our community and learning from each other, so if there's a resource or activity you find helpful, please share it with us in the comments so we can all learn!