Juneteenth: A Day of Freedom {What You Need to Know}

June 19th, do you know that this day has meaning? Three years ago, I didn’t. I should have, it’s about our culture, our history, it’s a day about freedom. African American Freedom.

June 19th also known as Juneteenth, the black fourth of July, Jubilee Day or Freedom Day, is basically the emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans in the Confederacy (the South). The last state to be emancipated was Texas. At first, Juneteenth was only acknowledged in the state of Texas but later moved on to different states.

But why isn’t this day a big deal?

Although it is celebrated, I don’t feel that it’s really recognized as well as it should be. Maybe it’s because we aren’t yet free from the pain and sacrifice our ancestors fought so we could be seen as equal, or from the years of labor they spent to help build this country? I won’t dwell on these things as this is supposed to be about celebration and knowledge, so let’s get to it.

During this time of movement, justice, worry, and all the protests happening throughout the country, Juneteenth would be a great celebration of culture and history. It can open the eyes of those who don’t understand. It’s our history, it has meaning; it’s our Fourth of July.

Why am I writing about this?

I want people to be aware.

I want people to know that we have a reason to celebrate freedom. We celebrate our country’s freedom on July Fourth. So, let’s acknowledge all the people who fought for people who look like me to be free.

Juneteenth needs to be recognized.

Many lost their lives for me to have the opportunity to live in the land of the free. Those men and women didn’t have a choice to do the things they wanted, or often even needed to survive. They were property. When the document was signed that gave them rights, it gave US rights. It gave us hope, that we can all be equal in a country that was built by us for us. For everyone. It gave me the chance to wake up and not have to worry if my child would be torn from my arms because she was sold to a plantation owner in another state.

THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO CELEBRATE. Not just me, but us as a community. It’s our history and it needs to be acknowledged.

I’m asking everyone reading this to help me celebrate this day. Whether it’s a post about Juneteenth, a Google search of what this day means, if you find an event (virtually) go see what it’s about, to learn about this day, to embrace it and teach others. During this time of action with the Black Lives Matter movement, Juneteenth can be another chance for us to come together. Celebrating this holiday can help us understand the importance of why our lives matter and for the community to acknowledge that we are human beings with feelings; that we have every right to be free.

Hope to see you show up with me on June 19th. Tag me if you like! I would love to see what you come up with.

Ja'Nae Lewis
Ja’Nae was born in Houma and raised on the outskirts of New Orleans known as the Westbank, where she still resides. She’s currently dating her boyfriend of 3 years and together they raise their daughter A’nylah. After attending Jackson State University, she moved back to New Orleans and then earned her master’s at Full Sail University in Public Relations, she currently works part-time at a local Bra Boutique where she enjoys helping women feel good about themselves. In her free times, she’s looking for the latest fashion trends, working out, learning how to organize her life, relaxing by enjoying a good movie or series and finding fun things to do with her new family.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here