How to Celebrate Your First Juneteenth

I think a hero is any person really intent on making this place better for all people. —Maya Angelou

For the last several weeks, my eyes have been opened to the oppression of the black community, systemic racism, and everything related to these topics.

At the same time, I feel like these last several weeks have been good turning points. As someone who always chooses to find the silver lining, it’s been encouraging to see positive change happening. We’ve got a long way to go, but I’m happy to see we’re on our way.

The first black and first woman, Ella Jones, was elected mayor in Ferguson, Missouri. Then Trayvon Martin’s mom, Sybrina Fulton, announced she’s officially qualified to run for Miami Dade County Commissioner District 1, and after that, Breonna’s Law passed.

What great events to celebrate, right?

How to Celebrate Your First Juneteenth - She Sweats Diamonds - Image by Rosalie Agency
Image via Rosalie Agency

Today is Juneteenth.

Yes, today is a day for celebration, education, and connection.[/dropcap]

And here are several ways you can do all three:

IMMERSE YOURSELF & LEARN FROM BLACK-OWNED CONTENT

Whether it’s a new-to-you podcast or nabbing a new book for a summer read, you can learn a lot from black creators.

If you’re looking for a new book to read, I highly recommend my friend’s book, Transformed. Remi is a fantastic author (and actor) and his book is hands-down, a page-turner. I promise when you finish, you’ll want to go out and take on the world too! I’m not just saying this because he and I are friends. I’m saying it because it’s been a long time since I’ve read a book I couldn’t put down!


PURCHASE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

I’ll make it plain and simple. Put your money where your mouth is.

To celebrate, here are some resources of lists you can choose to purchase from:

Black-owned wellness brands

Fashion brands by black designers

Black-owned skincare

Black-owned makeup

If this snapshot doesn’t say it all, I don’t know what will.

How to Celebrate Your First Juneteenth - She Sweats Diamonds - POC spending power - Nathalie Molina Niño
Image via Nathalie Molina Niño

If you’re looking to make more sustainable purchases, check out my article I wrote about black-owned sustainable brands you can support.


CELEBRATE BLACK CULTURE & CREATIVITY

We owe a lot to the black community. Music, film, fashion, beauty, the list is endless. And we’ve benefitted from their creativity and have enjoyed a lot of things that came out of black culture throughout our lives.

Take today to celebrate the creations that make life more enjoyable for you.

Black inventors created a lot of things that made life better. This Texan, for one, is SO thankful for Frederick M. Jones, who invented the air conditioning unit.

Take today to appreciate the creations that make life more easier for you..


COOK UP A STORM! 

Speaking of culture, I personally feel that the best way to learn about someone’s culture is through food. What better way to celebrate than to use recipes from black chefs/food bloggers.

I recently followed Jocelyn Adams of Grand Baby Cakes only to realize I had made her lobster mac and cheese recipe a few months ago when quarantine began! To celebrate Juneteenth, I’ll be making her recipe again this weekend. To say I’m excited is an understatement, ha!

Check out this great article about black food bloggers sharing their recipes for a virtual Juneteenth potluck too! What a great idea, right?

I hope this article lifts your spirits despite everything that has been happening.

On a similar note, please listen to me and listen very closely.

Black Lives Matter is NOT something for you to use to make yourself feel/look better on social media for awhile only to go back to your normal lifestyle. BLM is not a trend.

If you say you’re going to support the black community, support them now. Support them six months from now and support them for the rest of your life. That’s what a true ally and supporter would do.

How do you plan on celebrating Juneteenth?

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How to Celebrate Your First Juneteenth