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  • Linda Williams

How Will You Celebrate Juneteenth?

Three years ago my family and I traveled to Ghana. While there we visited the El Mina Castle. It was one of the castles where slaves were held before being brought to America. I will never forget the sadness I felt at that place.

The bill signing into law the observance of Juneteenth as a federal holiday yesterday should have real significance, especially for African Americans. It is acknowledging the last group of slaves being freed in Texas on June 19,1865.

For those of us whose ancestors were slaves, we should think about how we can commemorate this day to honor them and their struggles.

Carlett Spike gives us some ideas in her AARP article, (“6 Ways to Celebrate and Commemorate the History Behind Juneteenth”) which I thought had great suggestions that I want to share with you:

1. Learn the Full History - look for books and articles that give a full account of this event.

2. Celebrate - think of a way that you can pay honor to this important event. Red is the color designated for this day. Even if you stay at home and look for events on television that is a way to recognize the day. If you are older, talk to your children and grandchildren About some of the struggles you went through.

3. Support Black Owned Businesses - if shopping is your thing, support a black-owned business on this day.

4. Acknowledge and Spread the Word - talk about this historic event with people you come in contact with. Perhaps they heard about the signing of the bill but still don’t understand what it is all about.

5. Donate to Supportative Organizations- look for organizations that foster youth or other worthwhile causes for blacks.

6. Attend Juneteenth Events - check online, watch the news or talk to friends and neighbors to locate celebration near you. (You can read the entire article here

Whether you celebrate today or tomorrow (or both), take some time to reflect on the significance of this day over 150 years ago.

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