SUMMARY: Using the celebrations and festivals littered throughout the Bible as examples in addition to the wisdom from Psalm 78 and 106 author Erin Phillips encourages Christians to commemorate Juneteenth by the holiday in four ways – celebrating to learn, celebrating to teach the next generation, celebrating to mourn, and celebrating for reconciliation.
KEY QUOTE: “As sojourners in this country, I believe it would benefit Christians, especially white Christians, to consider the tension in which holidays like Juneteenth were birthed that distinguishes them and dare to observe, solemnly, with their African American brothers and sisters. Then, together, like Israel, we can look back and mourn past transgressions, consider our own in the present and celebrate the heritage of God’s faithful love and mercy toward us.”
More curated resources on Juneteenth:
What is Juneteenth? Why do we celebrate it? How should we celebrate it? After reading the following articles, listening to the podcast, and watching the show you should have a decent understanding of what the holiday is and why we celebrate it.
In a previously curated article Jemar Tisby aptly recommends that white and Black Americans should commemorate Juneteenth differently. One of the ways non-Black Americans can commemorate the holiday is to learn about the history of Black people in America. On Juneteenth consists of a collection of six engrossing essays interlacing author Annette Gordon-Reed’s memories from growing up in Jim Crow Conroe, TX as the first Black student in her elementary school with the complexities of American history, specifically Texan history, replete with its myths, legends, and truths.
U.S. history professor at Bethel University John H. Haas suggests that Juneteenth is a time for Americans to reflect on how “how hard America has found it to live up to its own ideals” while pondering why America is the only nation that required a war, the bloodiest war in its history, to repeal slavery.