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.
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 celebrate the holiday differently.
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, including education and supporting Black churches and organizations, on how to commemorate the holiday.
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.
Georgetown professor of history and African American studies Marcia Chatelain breakdowns the history, the misconceptions, the evolution, and the importance of Juneteenth.