Happy Juneteenth!

Today is Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery and Black independence in the US. If you aren't familiar with the history of Juneteeth, this is an excellent primer.

There are tons of Juneteenth events all over the country—from parades to cookouts to poetry slams. And there are plenty of other ways to mark the day, if you can't attend a Juneteenth event: You could make a donation to the NMAAHC, or request that your library order children's books on Juneteenth (if they don't already have them), or make a donation to the Harlem Arts Festival, or talk to your local Parks Department about organizing a Juneteeth event next year, if they're not holding any this year.

And check out this terrific piece on Juneteenth at Slate by Jamelle Bouie: The Black American Holiday Everyone Should Celebrate But Doesn't.
For now, it's a niche holiday, celebrated by black Americans and a handful of others who know and understand the occasion. But it deserves wider reach. Indeed, I think we should add it to the calendar of official federal holidays.

Insofar that modern Americans celebrate the past, it's to honor the sacrifices of the Greatest Generation or to celebrate the vision of the Founders. Both periods are worthy of the attention. But I think we owe more to emancipation and the Civil War. If we inaugurated freedom with our nation's founding and defended it with World War II, we actualized it with the Civil War. Indeed, our struggle against slave power marks the real beginning of our commitment to liberty and equality, in word, if not always in deed.

Put another way, Juneteenth isn't just a celebration of emancipation, it's a celebration of that commitment. And, far more than our Independence Day, it belongs to all Americans.
I encourage you to read the whole thing.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to leave additional suggestions for how to celebrate or further recommending reading in comments.

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