Let’s celebrate Juneteenth

June 19, 1865 is when the last group of enslaved people in the U.S. were freed in Galveston, Texas, which happened 2 months after the end of the Civil War and OVER TWO YEARS after the Emancipation Proclamation. The anniversary of this day is called Juneteenth and is also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day.

More states have recognized this as an official state holiday. And if you’re in Illinois like we are, our governor just signed it into law this week and became the 47th state to recognize the day. Despite this, Juneteenth is not widely taught in schools. Black history is American history, and we need to actively campaign for this important moment in our country to be included in school curriculums.

How do you celebrate Juneteenth?

Although the history of this holiday is rooted in wrongdoings of the past, and it’s important to recognize the continued injustices of the present, this holiday is a celebration. So you can certainly be joyful and have fun!

Here are some ways to do that:

  • Attend a fest! Some are both in-person and virtual like the Juneteenth NY Festival and National Juneteenth Virtual Music Festival. If you live around Chicago, you can find a list of celebrations here. Additionally, you can find a list of family-friendly events here.
  • Host or attend a cookout and enjoy traditional Juneteenth food and beverages, which is anything red, such as BBQ, red soda, (or any red drink), red velvet cake (my personal fave!) and watermelon. Red symbolizes strength and spirituality, as well as the bloodshed of those who were enslaved on the road to freedom.
  • Rest. Rest and recovery is a revolution in itself.
  • Read the Emancipation Proclamation, and learn and share the history of Juneteenth.

In honor of Juneteenth – and Brim Branding’s roots in the food and beverage space – here is a recipe for fresh strawberry soda by food blogger Monique of Divas Can Cook. Visit Monique’s blog to see this recipe (and other down home recipes!) in its entirety with all her tips, tricks, and charm.

Comment below and let me know how you plan on celebrating Juneteenth this year! Or, if you’re seeing this later, let me know how you celebrated!

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