It’s time to celebrate Juneteenth! There’s a big shift happening right now. The Black Lives Matter movement is motivating people to have a discussion about race and the history of racism in this country. Families are trying to find ways to have those tough conversations with their kids. Since Juneteenth is approaching, many families are using this time to celebrate and recognize the history of Black people in America.
June 19th, also known as Juneteenth, is a day that celebrates the last group of enslaved people in Texas learning they were free in 1865 under the Emancipation Proclamation. This holiday represents a turning point in American history. It’s the perfect opportunity to have a discussion about race with your family. Juneteenth is a holiday that should be honored by everyone and celebrated just as big as the 4th of July. I will be sharing the top 6 ways to celebrate Juneteenth with kids to share the message of equality and a better future. Hope you make this an annual celebration with your loved ones and friends!
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LEARN ABOUT JUNETEENTH
It can be difficult to get kids interested in reading books about American history. If you have smaller children, like myself, it’s more challenging trying to find age appropriate books. Take a trip to your local library to borrow books that discuss history or have diverse characters to celebrate Juneteenth. I have a small list below or you can stop by my Pinterest board for more ideas. Not comfortable going inside at this time? Check to see if they offer curbside pickup. Want to expand your book collection at home? Support a local Black-owned bookstore by purchasing books about Juneteenth. Also, search for books featuring black characters and important figures. If you’re in Florida, stop by Dare Books (Longwood), Pyramid Books (Boynton Beach), Kizzy’s Books & More (Winter Garden) or Cultured Books (St. Petersburg).
Grab some popcorn or your favorite snack and watch movies with the family. Thankfully, there are a lot of streaming services that are sharing free movies that sheds a light on the struggles of Black people in America. Make sure to find something that is age appropriate for all members of the family. Parents with smaller children can find animated films that feature Black characters. Be prepared to answer questions your child may have after watching the movie. Also, make sure you are able to have an open and honest discussion as a family.
COOK A FAMILY FEAST
Many Americans celebrate Patriotic holidays with a cookout. Juneteenth should not be an exception due to the importance of that day. Fire up the grill and enjoy a nice meal with the family in the backyard or at a local park to celebrate Juneteenth. Don’t forget the music!
ATTEND AN EVENT
There are many places around the country that are hosting events to celebrate Juneteenth while practicing social distancing. You can also connect with other family members and friends online to enjoy a virtual holiday celebration. Here’s a list of events for those who are in the Tampa Bay area. *Please note: check for recent reports of cancellation of events due to the rise of COVID-19 in Tampa*
MAKE FUN CRAFTS
Celebrate Juneteenth by making fun crafts with the kids. Get your children excited about Juneteenth by creating a flag that represents the holiday. The flag was designed by Ben Haith who incorporated the American colors. There’s a star in the middle that pays homage to Texas while the red and blue represents a new freedom and a new people. Below are more craft ideas for the kids.
One of the best ways to celebrate Juneteenth with kids is supporting Black-owned businesses all day. Check out this directory to find a business in your area. You can also check social media for local businesses to support.
Take some time to reflect on the importance of Juneteenth. Moreover, think about ways we can make a positive change as a community. Make sure to volunteer, donate and vote! Don’t let this be the last year you celebrate Juneteenth as a family.