JUNETEENTH:  HONORING BLACK HISTORY; HIGHLIGHTING BLACK VOICES & PERSPECTIVES

Updated 06/19/2020
Today is Juneteenth!  

In short, it is an incredibly special day in US History– the day that commemorates the end of slavery.

​But there is MUCH more to it than that.

​To learn more, here is a curated collection of articles from Black news sources and Black journalists on the meaning and significance of this holiday. This is an important opportunity to listen, to gain understanding, and to #amplifymelanatedvoices.

JUNETEENTH ARTICLES FROM BLACK NEWS OUTLETS
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#1)   19 Juneteenth Events Taking Place Around the Country (2019)      (**2020 update HERE

​ from  Blavity
Article highlight:  Find out where, when, and how to celebrate Juneteenth in your area

About the source:  Blavity’s mission is to be “a community of the most exceptional multi-cultural creators and influencers in the world. We partner with diverse content creators and influencers to help them reach a wider audience, amplify their message, and fund their hustles. We believe that the world shifts according to the way people see it— and if you change the way people view the world, you can transform it.”


Article highlight:  Did you know that the Mascogo people of Mexico celebrate Juneteenth, too?

About the source:  This one is local!  Atlanta Black Star “was created to publish empowering narratives for all people of African descent and everyone who adheres to our culture.  We publish narratives intentionally and specifically to enlighten and transform the world.”  Their work is guided by a seven-point manifesto outlining their beliefs and values.


Article(s) highlight: Interesting to read both today, given the historical significance of the date and the re-opening of the reparations conversation in recent news.

About the source:​  NewsOne.com is your destination for news and information for and about Blacks in America. Filled with original stories, diverse opinions, photos, videos and polls, NewsOne is dedicated to deepening out audiences’ understanding about current events and their impact on black lives.”


Article highlight: Be sure to follow this case in congress, happening TODAY!  {2019}
And if you haven’t watched that Blackish episode yet, it is a must-watch!

About the source:  The Root provides readers with “Black News, Opinions, Politics and Culture.”  From their Facebook page: “The Root provides an unflinching analysis of important issues in the black community through insightful and savvy commentary from black thought-leaders.”  

​They also have a great series of videos on their Facebook page called “Unpack That,” which challenge racial issues in highly engaging ways.


Article highlight:  “In his first op-ed for Essence, Cory Booker shares how the spirit of the holiday should be celebrated and how he would fulfill the legacies of those who fought for emancipation.”

About the source:  “The ESSENCE Brand—Where Black Women Come First— for news, entertainment and motivation. ESSENCE occupies a special place in the hearts of millions of Black women– its not just a magazine but her most trusted confidante, a brand that has revolutionized the magazine industry and has become a cultural institution in the African-American community since its founding in 1968.


​#8)  This source had waaaaayyyy too many good articles to pick only 1 or 2, so here are just all of the search results for the word “Juneteenth

 from Ebony

Article highlight:  As of 2019, 35 out of 50 States recognize Juneteenth as an official holiday. It is not currently recognized as a federal holiday.

About the source:  EBONY is the No. 1 source for an authoritative perspective on the Black community. Now in its 71st year, the monthly magazine reaches nearly 11-million readers featuring the best thinkers, trendsetters, hottest celebrities and next-generation leaders. EBONY ignites conversation, promotes empowerment and celebrates aspiration. Available nationwide, EBONY is the heart, the soul, and the pulse of Black America. It’s more than a magazine, it’s a movement.

​JUNETEENTH ARTICLES FROM BLACK JOURNALISTS

Article highlight:  A powerful quote that stuck with me from Lockhart’s writing:

“W
hile Juneteenth has become the most prominent Emancipation Day holiday in the US, it commemorates a smaller moment that remains relatively obscure. It doesn’t mark the signing of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, which technically freed slaves… it marks the moment when news of emancipation finally reached those in the deepest parts of the former Confederacy.  In many ways, Juneteenth represents how freedom and justice in the US has always been delayed for black people.”

About the journalist:  Lockhart says, “I write about race: how it intersects with gender, sexuality, and economic status, how it influences social justice movements, and how communities of color interact with and are affected by policy and politics. Before joining Vox, I covered race and politics for Mother Jones.”

#3)  Balancing the Ledger on Juneteenth 
    
 By Vann R. Newkirk II

Article highlight:  “The debate over reparations highlights the dual purpose of the holiday: celebrating emancipation but also demanding accountability for historical and present wrongs.”

About the journalist:  Vann Newkirk is a creative and multimedia-savvy journalist, editor, and content creator. He is a staff writer at TheAtlantic.com on politics and policy, with a special focus on health policy. Prior, Vann was at Daily Kos, where he focused on justice and health issues, focusing on the intersection of policy, race, class, and culture.”

*AND*

#4)  A classic of our times! — The Case for Reparations 
     By TA-NEHISI COATES

Article intro:  “Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.”

About the journalist:  Ta-Nehisi Coates is a prominent and award-winning writer, a modern day civil rights activist, and as of this very morning {2019}, a testifier in a landmark court case on reparations. His work is a Must. Read.


Both journalists writing for  The Atlantic.

*Note on the source:  ​The Atlantic was publishing pieces by Civil Rights activists as early as 1897.


*BONUS!* – 2 TEACHING RESOURCES FOR JUNETEENTH

Article highlight:  Written in a way that is easy to read and relatable for older students

About the source:  It is incredible how Teen Vogue has re-invented their image and become a force for good in the teen world.


#2)  Video:  ​The History Of Juneteenth, A Glorious Celebration Of Black Independence Day
 By Taryn Finley,
 Editor of HuffPost’s Black Voices

Video highlight:  Same as #1. Relatable for teen audiences.

About the source:  ​HuffPost’s Black Voices was started in 2011 to “focus on current events and cultural trends from a black perspective, covering a broad range of topics — from presidential politics to pop culture, from money and beauty to sports, music, fashion, books, and parenting. Featuring dynamic storytelling, comprehensive curation, investigative reporting, and real-time opinion, BlackVoices will spotlight the best and brightest black thinkers, writers, and cultural game changers with the goal of making issues important to the black community part of the national conversation, because these are issues that matter to everyone.”

IN CLOSING

Huge gratitude to all the amazing Black writers listed above for sharing their talent and knowledge to spread awareness of the importance of Juneteenth.

Hopefully these sources become places you visit for news updates again and again, not just on this holiday but always.

Happy Juneteenth everyone. May we celebrate how far we’ve come, recognize how far we still have to go, and have the courage to take steps toward progress every chance we get.

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