19 Ideas to Celebrate and Honour Juneteenth (plus helpful articles to read and learn more)

Happy Woman with folded arms against a blue background

I wrote last year’s article What is Juneteenth, Why it Matters & What You Can Do! both for myself to understand these issues more deeply—and I hoped that by doing so I provided a lens and encouragement for others to do the same.

In this article you’ll find 7 Ideas to Recognize Juneteenth in Your Workplace and 12 Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth. Then we wrap up with 5 Articles for you to read or share to learn more about Juneteenth itself. Jump straight to these 19 ideas here >>

What has Juneteenth to do with Fierce Kindness?

Well, a key part of Fierce Kindness is making a difference. And to do that, we need to understand the context we live in.

And whatever country you live in, America likely shows up in your culture—at a minimum through television and movies. Few countries are untouched by slavery and colonialism (whether that country was a colonizer like the UK or the colonized).

We are still, as cultures, dealing with the fallout of colonization. This includes ongoing power imbalances and exploitation (whether of people and/or a country’s natural resources) and systemic racism.

All this to say that understanding where a holiday like Juneteenth comes from matters. It raises questions, educates us. It helps us understand, so that we can help make a difference and address issues like structural racism (racism that is so deeply embedded in our cultures that we don’t see it).

Over the last year I’ve read more and learned more. This year, I hope you enjoy these 19 short and sweet ideas and suggestions to celebrate and honour Juneteenth.

Here are 7 Ideas to Recognize Juneteenth in Your Workplace

Note: DEIJ stands for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice.

  1. Simply start a discussion. Ask your employees or colleagues to share their thoughts on Juneteenth. What do they know? What do they think could/should be different?
  2. If you have employees, consider giving them a long lunchbreak in honour of Juneteenth.
  3. Are there any events local to you? If you own your business, participate or sponsor an event. If not, ask your organization to do so.
  4. Bring in some baking and when you share it with colleagues, let them know you are honouring and celebrating Juneteenth.
  5. Invite a guest speaker in to talk about Juneteenth or DEIJ Issues for a “brown bag lunch” (where people bring their lunch in a brown bag and eat during the lunchtime event).
  6. Make a corporate donation to Black run businesses or organizations that are making a difference in breaking down structural racism.
  7. Review your organization’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statement and initiatives.
    • If you don’t have any, use this day to write your DEI statement.

And 12 Ways to Personally Celebrate and Honour Juneteenth

Get your partner, children or larger family involved. And remember to make it fun!

  1. Find an event in your neighborhood and participate.
  2. Host your own backyard party in honour of Juneteenth (and encourage people to reflect on DEIJ issues).
  3. Sign a petition that addresses DEIJ Issues.
  4. Make a donation. For example, support Boston University’s Antiracist Research here.
  5. Purposely support Black-owned businesses.
  6. Visit an exhibit or museum dedicated to Black culture.
  7. Watch a Black TV show—especially one that shows Black culture in a positive and uplifting way. I remember A Different World from the late 1980s (which has an interesting history here (link to Wikipedia)). Or try Lovecraft Country, Black-ish, Atlanta, Run the World and Insecure. There are great new ideas of shows to watch from Oprah Daily here.
  8. Watch a movie or documentary—whether it’s historical or current day.
    • Try the PBS’s docuseries Juneteenth Jamboree. This PBS link shares 25 minutes of highlights from this series.
    • Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (link is to IMDb) is a documentary about the Harlem Music Festival in 1969.
    • Watch a movie about a famous person of colour. Like I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Whitney Houston), King Richard (father of Venus and Serena Williams), Harriet (Harriet Tubman), Respect (Aretha Franklin), Josephine Baker: The Story of an Awakening and many, many more.
  9. Listen to Black artists (music or comedy).
  10. Read books written by Black authors and poets. Some examples of poets include Langston Hughes, Amanda Gorman, June Jordan and James Baldwin. For authors try Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and if you like fantasy writing try Octavia Butler (my next author to try!) and NK Jemisin’s orginal world-building with strong women.
  11. Read a biography or memoir about a person of colour. For example you can get all 5 of Maya Angelou’s memoirs in one volume (this is the one I have!) The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou. Or Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston (a fascinating story of a controversial Black woman before her time).
  12. And see last year’s article for some book ideas to educate yourself on DEIJ issues.

Book links go to Bookshop.org (which supports small bookstores and an alternative to Amazon!) and I am an affiliate for them. As always I encourage you to support your local (Black) bookseller if you can—even if it means paying a little more or waiting longer to receive your book).

Finally, 5 Articles to Learn More about Juneteenth

Read these articles yourself and/or share with friends and colleagues to start that conversation!

Wrap-upFierce Kindness Logo

I hope this has given you some ideas.

And if you have comments, suggestions, ideas or more great resources, please add yours in the comments below.

If you liked this, you may also like:

Change the world. Start with you!

Image of Happy Woman standing with arms crossed for Juneteenth ideas by Kraken Images

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