Juneteenth is more than a day in history or a newly created federal holiday (even as I enjoy the day off)— it’s a celebration of and commitment to Black independence, joy, and freedom that we’ve yet to fully achieve.
As we celebrate today, let’s consider that Black folks have asked and continue to ask for much more than just a federally recognized holiday. There’s the true acknowledgement of this country’s dark history, reparations, systematic inequities and racism, and so much more that still needs to be tackled, even as we celebrate how far we’ve come!
I share this photo of the “Beauty in the Wild” postcard (by Shaunte Lewis) included in June Monthly Book Club orders this month to reflect on the power and beauty of Black art--books, films, paintings, tv shows, graphic design, poetry, music, fashion. Our art has always been rooted in overcoming, strength, and survival, as well as, beauty, joy, and love.
One way to celebrate Juneteenth today is to consume and engage with Black art--read a Black book, admire some Black art, like this one from @shauntelewisart, watch a Black movie, engage with posts by Black content creators.
More importantly? Pay some Black folks their dues. Purchase from Black businesses and creatives; Tip folks whose content you’ve benefitted from; Donate to Black nonprofit organizations. Allyship is great, but it doesn’t pay the bills or help level the economic field. At the end of the day, we cannot ignore/forget the face that slavery was an ECONOMIC system. Enslaved Africans worked for hundreds of years without pay; even when "freed" were given limited access to earning wealth, the remnants of which we continue to see today.
Anyway, these were just some thoughts ruminating in my mind for a few days as Juneteenth was approaching. Thank you for reading my Juneteenth reflections.