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How to Observe Juneteenth: A Resource Roundup

How to Observe Juneteenth: A Resource Roundup

Erika Lust | June 18, 2021 | 4 min. read | Photos by Unsplash

June 19th, aka Juneteenth, is an annual holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It refers to the day in 1865 when a group of enslaved people in Texas finally found out that they were free from slavery. Just this week the day was made a federal holiday in the USA by Joe Biden, making it the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr Day was established in 1983.

Although it is a US holiday, countries around the world observe the day by protesting against discrimination and systemic racism. I will be celebrating and commemorating Juneteenth this year through educating myself, supporting Black-owned businesses and donating to organisations that support Black communities. Here are some of the resources I’m making my way through, and I invite you to join me too:

Read these:

For brief guides to what you should know about Juneteenth, check out these:

So You Want to Learn About Juneteenth? on The New York Times

What to know about Juneteenth, the emancipation holiday on NBC News

Juneteenth: What is the newest US holiday and how is it celebrated? on BBC News

For a longer read, check out this:

On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed
"Weaving together American history, dramatic family chronicle, and searing episodes of memoir, Annette Gordon-Reed's On Juneteenth provides a historian's view of the country's long road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the enormous hardships that African-Americans have endured in the century since, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow and beyond."

Listen to these:

TSOB with Dr. G (The Sex Ed of Blackfolk) - Sex Ed: The Juneteenth Episode
TSOB (The Sex Ed of Blackfolk) podcast celebrates Juneteenth this week by speaking to Dr. Clarissa (Serenity) Francis, a sexuality educator, researcher, practitioner and founder of the therapeutic initiative Let Freedom C.U.M.

NPR: The History of Juneteenth
An oral history of Juneteenth and the events that took place on June 19, 1865 when legal slavery ended in Texas, thus marking the end of enslavement in all of the United States

Watch this:

Miss Juneteenth (2020)
An American drama directed by Channing Godfrey Peoples and starring Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, and Alexis Chikaeze. A former beauty queen and single mom prepares her rebellious teenage daughter for the "Miss Juneteenth" pageant.

Join this:

Juneteenth: A Celebration Of Resilience by African American History and Culture Museum
The museum invites you to this online event to discover and share ways to celebrate this holiday through presentations, stories, photographs, and recipes.

Please note that this list is by no means exhaustive

NAACP work to disrupt inequality, dismantle racism, and accelerate change in key areas including criminal justice, health care, education, climate, and the economy. Check out their resources list to understand your rights and fight for justice.

Snap for Freedom: The Solutions not Punishment Collaborative is a Black trans and queer led organisation that builds safety within the community

Color of Change design campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward. Until justice is real.

LGBTQ Freedom Fund pays bail to secure the safety and liberty of individuals in U.S. jails and immigration facilities.

The Audre Lorde Project is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color center for community organizing, focusing on the New York City area.

The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

Therapy for Black Girls is an online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls.

Do you have other resources that you'd like to share with me? Please add them in the comments below!

Erika Lust is an award-winning filmmaker, producer, and writer who's focus on female pleasure, cinematic values, and ethics in adult cinema have helped to change how pornography is consumed. Erika Lust Films was born in 2004 and since then Erika has ... Read More
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