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 understand what the holiday is and why we celebrate and/or commemorate it.


READ: What is Juneteenth and Why Should We Celebrate It? / Erin Phillips
Using the celebrations and festivals littered throughout the Bible as examples, in addition to the wisdom from Psalms 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.

READ: Juneteenth – What Lies Beneath? / John H. Haas
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.

READ: Why Black and White People Should Commemorate Juneteenth Differently / Jemar Tisby
With Juneteenth becoming a national holiday in 2021 author Jemar Tisby suggests that white people should lean towards commemorating the holiday instead of a full-on celebration as a celebration could erase the “suffering and brutality of slavery.” Tisby provides several suggestions on how to commemorate the holiday, including education and supporting Black churches and organizations.


LISTEN: Juneteenth: Reflections on a National Holiday from Jemar Tisby / Pass the Mic
In an informative and practical 40-minutes Jemar Tisby touches on three reasons why he advocated for Juneteenth to be a national holiday, discusses the historical origins and context of the holiday, lists some unintended consequences of making Juneteenth a federal holiday, and humbly suggests that Black and white people should commemorate the holiday differently.


WATCH: Juneteenth – What You Need to Know / History Channel
Georgetown professor of history and African American studies Marcia Chatelain breakdowns the history, the misconceptions, the evolution, and the importance of Juneteenth.


DIG DEEPER: On Juneteenth / Annette Gordon-Reed
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.

More learning capsules:


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Keeping up with the news can be overwhelming. Where do you start? Who do you trust? Here is a guide to help you read the news through a Christian lens and with a critical eye (HINT: Think local!)

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