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. I will be sharing the top 6 ways to celebrate Juneteenth with kids to share the message of equality and a better future.
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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. Hope you make this an annual celebration with your loved ones and friends!
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. Support a local Black-owned bookstore by purchasing books about Juneteenth or features Black characters. If you’re in Florida, stop by Dare Books (Longwood), Pyramid Books (Boynton Beach), Kizzy’s Books & More (Winter Garden), Best Richardson African Diaspora Literature Museum & Bookstore or Cultured Books (St. Petersburg). Check out these books below:
- Juneteenth for Mazie
- All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom
- Freedom Day: A Juneteenth Activity Book for Kids
- Juneteenth Jamboree
- The Story of Juneteenth: An Interactive History Adventure
- Juneteenth: It’s a Celebration
- Raven The Great: What is Juneteenth?
- Juneteenth (Beautiful Me)
- The Juneteenth Festival
- Juneteenth: A Children’s Story
HAVE A MOVIE NIGHT
Grab some popcorn or your favorite snack and watch movies to celebrate Juneteenth as a family. Thankfully, there are a lot of streaming services that are sharing free movies that shed 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. If you live near the beach, head out with the family and celebrate there with a packed meal, games and toys. Don’t forget the music wherever you celebrate Juneteenth! That’s the only way to have a great party.
ATTEND AN EVENT
There are many places around the country that are hosting events to celebrate Juneteenth while practicing social distancing. Some events are free but you may need to register ahead of time to reserve your spot. You can also connect with other family members and friends online to enjoy a virtual holiday celebration.
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. However, many people celebrate Juneteenth using the Pan-African flag. Check out the craft ideas below for kids.
SUPPORT BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES
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. If you live in the Tampa Bay area, check out this article with a list of Black-owned businesses to support. You can also check out this directory for more businesses.
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 in your local elections! Don’t let this be the last year you celebrate Juneteenth as a family.