June 19, 1865 union soldiers landed at Galveston Texas informing people that the war had ended and slaves were now free. Why is this date important to African Americans?, because Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation on January 1, 1863, a year and a half earlier. Juneteenth is a celebration of African American freedom, achievements, and education. It can be celebrated either on the day, week or even the whole month.
June 19th is a day that prompts celebrations including barbecuing, family gatherings, and guest speakers. Juneteenth celebrates self improvement and education. People of all races and ethnicities come together to truthfully acknowledge a period that shaped and influenced our society.
“Juneteenth is important to me. I would teach others the importance of it because the slaves were freed. PRO BLACK, #BlackLivesMatter.”– Shantee Applewhite (Ralph’s #277)
“I bring enlightenment to others. I also enjoy cooking for others since this is a special day.”– Garland Wady & Charles Stanford (Vons #2502)
“I celebrate Juneteenth to celebrate and remember all of the black people that fought hard for us and worked hard for us to get where we are today. I cook Soul Food, party with my family. I let people know about the black culture and the black history. Letting people know about how wonderful Juneteenth is.” –Nia Mayes (Vons #2502)
“Juneteenth to me means a day of celebrating my culture, both past and present. It’s the day that physically freed slaves in 1865. It’s the day that many of my ancestors prayed for, and that their children would be able to see. Juneteenth is a day that I am happy to celebrate and will always remember to thrive and make my ancestors proud”.–Viller Bates-Ralph’s #132/minority coalition 770 member.
“I celebrate Juneteenth by hanging out with my people listening to 2pac, drinking kool-aid at a backyard boogie / bbq. I wasn’t too fond of Juneteenth until June of 2016, I went to Texas for my family reunion and was in total disbelief that I didn’t know about it until then.
But let me tell y’all Texas really represents black people and for the culture parades and people Dancing in the streets pool parties everywhere I really felt free.
I wish we could celebrate and be more involved here in LA where I’m from. Come together as people not just of races like the Fourth of July and make it nationwide. And if you didn’t know about Juneteenth like me I’m here to educate on the parts I know about and also learn more each and everyday I’m celebrating my empowering and uplifting my people daily. We hold so much more power and can do more when we come together cause of course we LOUD(lol).
BUT LOUD, PROUD TO BE BLACK AND FREE. WE GOT MORE TO ACCOMPLISH THOUGH.”– Ashley Manning Ralph’s #87
“Juneteenth is important to me because that’s when my ancestors were FREED!! Not July 4, 1776 but June 19, 1866, so it’s a must that I celebrate it. I enjoy going to the Juneteenth parties and cookouts. Leimert Park is a good place to go to on Juneteenth by the way. I love giving people a great history lesson whenever they’re not aware of Juneteenth. I am unapologetically black.” – Kenya McElrath (UFCW 770)
“Juneteenth is important to me because it is a reminder of how much my ancestors had to endure and eventually overcome and persevere. It represents the struggles that my ancestors fought so hard to make a change and a difference for my future. This is why I strive daily to continue it in my workplace and in my community.” –DeAndre Williams, (Ralphs #32)/Minority Coalition 770 Member.
“Juneteenth is a day that is historical,. Sad that I only recently learned of this day and never was taught about this in school is a problem to me . To me the day represents that we finally were acknowledged, a black person, as human being. Juneteenth is a day I want to learn so much more and what my ancestors went through”. – Keshia Merritt- Ralph’s #87/minority coalition 770 member.
“Juneteenth is a celebration of our freedom! A celebration of black culture, struggle, and perseverance . Let’s take this day to celebrate black culture and honor the movement and black communities ! I urge you to get involved, and get educated. – Sam Christian Union representative / minority coalition member 770.
“Juneteenth to me means a celebration of freedom for our ancestors. It is a day to reflect on the history of African Americans and the huge accomplishments and contributions that have been made.” – Patrice Smiley UFCW Local 770 Special Services/minority coalition 770 member
“Juneteenth represents Black Emancipation and I am happy that it has finally been recognized as a federal holiday! It certainly should be celebrated…I go to events where it is celebrated and always have!”– Cheryl Butler Retiree UFCW770 & California
State Board of Pharmacy/Minority Coalition 770 Member.
“I recognize and celebrate this day out of respect for my ancestors who died, was abused, and fought hard for our freedom. It may sound farfetched that a human being had to fight to be free while other human beings are just that Free! That can’t be in this wonderful United States of America. The land of the Free Right! So while it is just another day for some, it is an honor for me. Celebrating it is everyday by doing my research on who I really am and not taking my life for granted. I spread the word to who will listen. I vote, which may seem so simple. But for my ancestors who were denied it was life or death. I also enjoy music, and our awesome food on this great day.”– Yvette Williams Pension department /minority coalition.
“To me, Juneteenth is a simple thing. It is the day our nation recognized and ratified true freedom for each and every one of its citizens. It is a day that should live in our hearts and in our minds not only because it marks the end of our enslavement, but because it marks continuation of our people’s struggle to be granted the God given rights promised to anyone that crawls, walks, or shits on this Earth. Make no mistake, I do not discount the work of President Abraham and his proclamation, but it was only one step in the process. A process we still find ourselves mired in today. But even though we have yet to reach true equality within this great nation of ours, we must take the time to sit back and celebrate just how far we’ve come lest we go mad. From 3/5ths, all the way to now. With brothers and sisters ranking highly within this very union, fighting for a different kinda equality. That’s all Juneteenth means to me, a celebration of our freedom, a day we should get to kick back and flaunt what we’ve built for ourselves. And as a reminder of how far we have left to go.”– Ricky DTLA Medmen.
“Juneteenth is the ultimate rejection of colonialism. It’s embracing our ancestry, celebrating perseverance, and acknowledging a history that for too long, was re-written with a more comfortable narrative for White America. It’s a sweet liberation.
I celebrate Juneteenth by being with friends and relishing in all things African American – eating, dancing, listening to music, sharing stories, and enjoying camaraderie. I like to look up new recipes by African American chefs and prepare them on Juneteenth. I share facts about Juneteenth and other forgotten parts of African American history via social media and through conversations with friends and family.
Although my ancestral slave roots were in Puerto Rico, Juneteenth is a day I too can celebrate my ancestor’s freedom. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.” – Dr. Jessica Crowley (Pavilions Pharmacy 2229)/CA State Board of Pharmacy.
“We celebrate Juneteenth for our love of family to gather and talk about the old days. To just show love to family and friends. To let the younger generation know life is so different now than it was in 1900’s. We cook, play games, and talk about our history.”– Ross and Loretta Ransom (retiree) Albertsons.