Published on: June 17, 2022
BY STEWART CONTENT TEAM
Juneteenth is a historic holiday that celebrates and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The history of the day stems back to when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 to announce that enslaved African Americans were free. The troops’ arrival came two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed declaring that enslaved people were free.
What once began as a celebration in Texas has spread throughout the United States as African Americans gather to commemorate the day, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. From attending events to hosting barbecues, here are some ways our team is celebrating Juneteenth:
Attend a Juneteenth Event
Emancipation Park, founded in 1872, is the oldest public park in Houston. Each year the park hosts an annual Juneteenth Celebration to not only celebrate the emancipation of African Americans in Texas, but to bring the community together to share stories and experiences, in addition to celebrating African American history.
The park’s website also states that the purchase of the land represented not only freedom for the local freedmen, but property ownership, unity, and African American commerce.
This year, the park will host its 150th Juneteenth Celebration. The free event kicks off on Saturday, June 18 and ends June 19. Head over to the park’s website to secure your free ticket!
Learn More About the History
Visiting Galveston, Texas is a great way to learn about the rich history of Juneteenth. The island offers you the chance to retrace the steps of the Federal Soldiers when they first landed in Galveston to announce that enslaved people were free.
This self-guided Freedom Walk allows visitors to learn about 5 historic sites and their importance to Juneteenth. Head over to their website to download the Freedom Walk Map or App to take the tour.
If you are unable to travel to a Juneteenth event or participate in a Freedom Walk, consider studying the history of this historic day. You can visit a local museum that showcases African American history and culture, watch movies or read books related to the holiday.
Juneteenth was officially made a federal holiday in June 2021.
Host a Barbecue or Cookout
Another popular way to celebrate Juneteenth is getting together with family or friends. Barbecuing is a traditional way of celebrating the holiday. Try incorporating traditional foods such as red foods or drinks to symbolize the sacrifice of enslaved ancestors, soul food, and collard greens or cabbage to represent prosperity and wealth.
Finding ways to educate yourselves on why you are gathering to celebrate the day is also a great way to honor enslaved ancestors and embrace the freedom that was extended to African Americans.
Here at Stewart, we embrace the unique backgrounds and perspectives that our employees and neighbors share. As we celebrate Juneteenth this month, we seek to honor and support the communities we live in and serve. Visit our Culture of Caring page to see other ways Stewart seeks to support our communities.