There’s no one way to celebrate Juneteenth. The newly created federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans is a celebration of Blackness. From our resilience throughout history to our excellence within culture, Juneteenth is a way to honor those who paved the way for our freedoms. So however you celebrate the holiday, take some time to recognize how we got here and what lies ahead.
There will be Juneteenth celebrations in cities all over the country. Take some time to find out the activities in your city, town, or state.
NewsOne encourages families to participate in local Juneteenth activities. We also encourage reading throughout the weekend of celebrating. Taking time for education is important when celebrating such a significant movement in history–it allows for more perspective. Since there is so much reading material to choose from, NewsOne has put together a Juneteenth reading guide to give you amazing reading options for the Juneteenth holiday. All of these articles are original pieces from our family of writers.
Please share this list with your friends and family throughout the holiday weekend.
Here are a few stories from our Black Folklore series:
The Haunting Of Lake Lanier And The Black City Buried Underneath
There’s a city buried under Lake Lanier (Georgia’s biggest lake), and submerged with it is a secret: An American horror story filled with terror, death, genocide, and ghosts.
There’s A Black Village Under Central Park That Was Founded By Alexander Hamilton’s Secret Black Son
Central Park, in New York City, is one of the most famous parks in the world. Its iconic skylines and beautiful scenery get visited by over 25 million people each year. It’s adored by both the locals and tourists from all over the world.
But the park has a history shrouded in black American folklore. Stories that we know to be partly true, but important details lost in the building of a nation.
Here are a few stories from our One Story series:
The One Story: Balancing Loyalty Between Black And Blue
In the very early stages following then-Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger shooting and killing her neighbor Botham Jean in his own apartment last year, the general sense was that the Blue Wall of Silence was working fast to protect one of its own.
That feeling was exacerbated by the delay in arresting the admitted shooter whose excuse — that the police officer who had been awarded for being observant mistook Jean’s apartment for her own — seemed flimsy at best.
The One Story: The Movement For Reparations Is Quietly Gaining Momentum, But The Fight Is Far From Over
If “walk it like I talk it” was a person, it would be Robin Rue Simmons.
The former alderman in Evanston, Illinois, made history in 2019 when she successfully instituted a reparations program specifically geared toward her city’s Black constituents who are linked to earlier generations of racist discrimination. Simmons’ efforts have unequivocally helped bolster interest in pending legislation for a national reparations program.
Check out a few of our comprehensive explainers:
The Critical Race Theory Explainer Every White Person Should Read
Critical Race Theory is not an alternative or comparable concept to white supremacist ideologies like the great replacement theory. It also does not in any way mandate or dictate the oppression of white people.
And while this isn’t the first-time critical race theory has been distorted as an attack, in the current political climate combined with widespread disinformation it has real consequences. Even well-intentioned liberals have gotten the concept wrong simply reducing this to being about teaching accurate history.
40 Acres And A Mule: What Are Reparations And Why Is The Concept So Polarizing?
Every so often, Black people spark up the conversation about reparations because, well it’s something we deserve, and it’s something we were promised. The concept of reparations is not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination, but its meaning has taken different forms over the years.
We hope you enjoyed our Juneteenth reading guide. Don’t forget to share this with your friends!