5 Ways To Do Juneteenth Right

Your brand deserves the passion you bring when you’re engaged in a big issue that shapes all our lives. If you’re ready to use your brand to speak up, act out and get paid—SmallBiz Antiracist, 6/30—is for you.

Still lapping up Juneteenth? Awight! Awwwight—I feel you! And I got meaty suggestions in this longer Sunday read. Let’s start with a simple question:

How do you celebrate Juneteenth?

How do you create your own family traditions honoring Black Freedom?

If you’re white, I think this question goes deep. Juneteenth has long been welcomed by African-Americas with mean BBQs throw-downs, picnics in the park, damn good fried chicken and red soda water. 

But if you don’t identify as black and you simply throw food on the grill and invite friends over—without grappling with how black life has been and is denied freedom—No, fam. That shit stings.

So does that mean you’re not invited to the party? That you can’t share the joy at the heart of June 19? C’mon now! Juneteenth is American history, marking its significance is a national project, which is where you come in. 

So here’s 5 ways to celebrate: Joy Guaranteed. Black Freedom Not Optional:

  1. Celebrate Black Community: There’s cool Juneteenth things happening in your neighborhood. Google, baby. And some of the best shit is led by black folks. Reach out and volunteer. Ask what kind of help folks need. Then show up and follow their lead. Decenter whiteness
  2. Remind Your Rep, It’s About Reparations: Don’t you think it’s funny Juneteenth became a federally-recognized holiday right around the time calls for reparations grew fever-pitch? Listen, finally recognizing the incompleteness of July 4 matters. But skipping the thorny bit of why Juneteenth exists in the first place to focus instead and only on the party part, is as vile as if Germany started celebrating Pesach with zero accountability for the holocaust. 
  3. Gift Black Self-Care: Here’s the thing that’s always baffled me about America, how did shopping equate to celebrating? Like the sales that pop up for President’s Day or Black Friday frenzy. Call it the immigrant in me (or the socialist), I don’t get it. But I do get how radical rest remains for black people in this country. After building America, black folks resting is still a political act of resistance. So why not gift black folks rest? Give your black employees massage gift certificates for Juneteenth. Preorder Rest As Resistance from Tricia Hersey of The Nap Ministry. 
  4. Teach Your Kids The Fcn Truth: Traditions begin around the kitchen table. And the finest, most important education happens outside any academic wall. Bet! How do you show the children in your life what living history looks like? How often are your kids in the minority, outnumbered by black Americans? Do your family summer stops include black history? Think beyond buying a diverse library. Can they count more than 3 grownups who are not white as in their life role models?
  5. Act on your Biz Pledge: Ready to make good on your brand’s big Black Lives Matter promises?SmallBiz Antiracist Glowup, 6/30 may be just the tea for you. Think VIP Day to sharpen your social impact, plus powerful storytelling to connect that work with your customers.

And to my peepsDear Black People:

You deserve this holiday.

I hope you bathe yourself in unadulterated childlike joy.

I hope you commune with your ancestors.

I hope you dance till the song is pulsing in your bones.

I hope you lay your body down. And know real rest. And take it whenever you need rest.

I hope you bliss out on too much good BBQ and damn good time talking shit and hanging late.

I hope you experience freedom in your lifetime, the same way your ancestors knew it by carving it out, even under shackles.

I really hope you know and celebrate how Dope AF you are. Without even trying. You just are.

And I hope you get curious about blackness everywhere.

I hope your celebration saves me a plate and fixes a piece of prayer and some pie for black folk around the globe who white supremacy is still trying to mess with.

Not today! Cause it’s a Happy Juneteenth, dear black people.

Love you DEEP


📣💥p.s. SmallBiz VIP Day is around the corner. 10 seats. 1 time offer. Your brand’s bank and BIPOC reach are both gonna thank ya!