Friday is Juneteenth!
Juneteenth, celebrated every June 19th, is a pivotal point in American history. On June 19, 1865, the last slaves in Texas were freed. This solidified the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation and African American freedom in the United States more broadly.
With our country shattered and in an uproar over continued violence against Black people, this year’s Juneteenth holds a significant position. In many ways, Juneteenth represents how freedom and justice in the US has always been delayed for black people.
Many people are learning about the Juneteenth holiday for the first time. Others are trying to find safe alternatives to the traditional celebrations of parades, cookouts, pageants and other gatherings while our country struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some things you can do to safely celebrate Black freedom on this important day and every day whether you are African American or an ally.
- Patronize Black-owned small businesses. Small businesses and entrepreneurs have been longtime wealth builders in our society. By supporting more Black-owned businesses, we can create more opportunities for meaningful savings, property ownership, credit building and generational wealth. The Intentionalist can help you find Black-owned small businesses so you can support the community with your dollars: https://intentionalist.com/
- Participate in celebrations and activities organized by African American grass roots organizations in your area, such as Black Lives Matter (BLM) and your local chapter of the NAACP.
- Check out #BlkFreedom, a partnership and conversation by 6 Museums to celebrate Black freedom for Juneteenth 2020.
Sign up: https://www.blkfreedom.org/
- Take a Virtual Tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture
- The Smithsonian has many fascinating digital resources so check them out: https://www.si.edu/
- Talk about racial inequality with your family. Black Families typically have many conversations about race and inequality. It is important for White families to do the same so that everyone can acknowledge difference of perspectives while inviting empathy, and questions that lead to meaningful conversation. Here are resources that explain how to have those conversations with children.
As we prepare to celebrate freedom on Friday, we are surrounded by palpable reminders that there is still a long way to go to fully realize that promise. Business Impact NW stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the movement towards racial equality. We seek to make long term positive economic change through asset building and community impact. Our work is to help entrepreneurs realize dreams of owning a small business by providing capital, training and business coaching to those who would not otherwise have access to these financial services. Above all, we amplify the voices of traditionally underserved communities.
About the author
Ashley Minter is a contract Communications Officer at Business Impact NW. Ashley is a public relations and communications professional and has worked for numerous organizations in Georgia including the City of South Fulton, City of Union City, Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, and Fulton County. Ashley is also CEO of Ashley Nicole Communications, a boutique public relations firm in Atlanta.