How You Can Participate in the Juneteenth Celebration

Widely thought of as African American Independence Day, Juneteenth is a celebration of the official end of slavery. Today, Juneteenth serves as an opportunity to reflect on what progress is still needed, as well as to celebrate Black joy and community.  

Since emancipation and desegregation, generational poverty has been one of the institutionally supported chains that still bind Black people. Research shows that three-generation poverty is more than 16 times higher among Black adults than white adults. What are the barriers to Black economic equality today? What are some ways we can address these barriers and support building bridges out of poverty?  

If you’re in Central Alabama, consider visiting Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s 2022 Juneteenth (Freedom Day) Celebration on Saturday, June 18. They will be hosting a series of exciting features for our community from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. This day-long jubilee will have something for everyone – including genealogy workshops, gallery tours, activities for kids and much more.   

We encourage you join us in our mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all by signing up to be an advocate at bit.ly/YWadvocate. 

History 

Juneteenth, a meld of “June nineteenth,” marks a pivotal moment in the history of Americans whose ancestors were enslaved and later freed with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth observes the last march of troops two years after that signing to free the slaves still in bondage in Texas.  

Observed by African Americans since the late 1800s, early celebrations of Juneteenth involved families getting together, observing prayer, sharing a meal and in some cases making the pilgrimage back to Galveston, Texas.  

Also called Emancipation Day, or Freedom Day, today folks still celebrate by bringing people together over food, with some cities holding larger events like parades and festivals. Since becoming a federal holiday in 2021, we see a record number of celebrations planned across the country.  

How to Participate?  

Here are a few ways you can commemorate this joyous occasion: 

Events 

Movies 

  1. If Beale Street Could Talk  
    • Trailer | Watch on Netflix and Sling  
  2. Blackkklansman 
  3. Black Panther 
  4. Moonlight  
  5. Just Mercy  

Documentaries

  1. Homecoming: A film by Beyonce
  1. 13th  
  1. Maya Angelou: I still Rise  
    • Trailer | Watch on Apple TV and Google Play  
  1. Selma  
  1. Free Angela and Political Prisoners  

Songs  

  1. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” – Gil Scott Heron | Listen  
  2. “Say Her Name” – Janelle Monet | Listen  
  3. “Freedom” – Beyonce | Listen  
  4. “Brown Skin” – India.Arie | Listen  
  5. “The People” – Common | Listen

Print
Juneteenth 2022
Juneteenth 2022
Join our discussion on “Breaking the Chains of Poverty” for Juneteenth!

Sign Up For the YW
eNewsletter

Sign Up For the YW eNewsletter

YWE CHOOSE Action

We’re open! If you visit our downtown Birmingham office, please excuse the construction blocking our front door. You can access the building through our 3rd Ave N entrance.

Arabic Arabic English English French French Korean Korean Spanish Spanish