Juneteenth was created as a day to recognize the emancipation of Black enslaved inhabitants of Galveston, TX — who were the very last group of slaves to be freed in the United States.
This year, we transformed it into a day to celebrate Black joy and life where the world finally joined along with us. The mass celebration was widely recognized among individuals, brands, and major corporations who honored the day in support of the Black community.
Companies like Nike, Spotify, Target, Twitter, Uber, and many more recognized Juneteenth as a paid company holiday this year and plan to make it an official company holiday going forward, CNBC reports. Similar to how New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the day will be a formal holiday next year, according to BBC News.
With the world’s desire to show massive support toward the Black community, new initiatives are being put into place for next year’s Juneteenth celebration.
Several institutions across the country are creating platforms and resources to educate the mainstream public on Black history that has been historically omitted from general American history.
Six leading museums centered around Black culture — Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, Northwest African American Museum, Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and the National Civil Rights Museum — are coming together to create a new digital platform called BLKFREEDOM to commemorate Juneteenth, Black Enterprise reports.
“As we celebrate Juneteenth, it’s an opportunity for us to reflect and act on the continued struggle and intersectionality of justice, freedom and democracy,” said Chris Miller, senior director of education and community engagement for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
According to the Northern Kentucky Tribune, the collaborative program will explore the meaning and relevance of freedom in America through educational content, artistic performances and shareable discussion prompts that will dive deep into the historical and contemporary framework of the country’s response to the Black community.
Additionally, Urban One and Black History 365 have partnered together to create a new set curriculum on Black history in honor of Juneteenth.
The new “Black History 365: An Inclusive Account of American History” K-12 curriculum will lead an extensive review of Black history that’s often left out of the standard U.S. curriculum.
“The timeliness of this curriculum cannot be overstated,” said Cathy Hughes, founder and chairwoman of Urban One in a press statement. “Our nation is seeking answers to resolve the issue of systemic racism, and many are searching to understand why it exists in the first place. The Black History 365 curriculum helps address those concerns, and more importantly, it closes the gaps and ensures that the next generation is educated about our history. Urban One is proud to be a partner in this critical mission.”
The Collective Political Action Committee also joined the band of initiatives this year to launch a campaign to register 250,000 Black voters this past Juneteenth, Black Enterprise reports.
Another initiative called “HellaJuneteenth” — a California advocacy campaign created by HellaCreative — was also produced to invite people to join the organization in their journey to turn Juneteenth into a nationally-recognized holiday.
All these initiatives and more are being organized to ensure, moving forward, that this country celebrates and honors the significance of the holiday by making it a day of celebration and education that’s recognized beyond the day itself.