All Sunrise Banks branches will be closed Saturday, June 19, in observance of Juneteenth. President Biden made June 19 a federal holiday on Thursday.
The holiday marks the date in 1865 when slaves in Texas learned of their freedom, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. We feel it’s important to commemorate the date.
Here are some facts on the holiday, including how it came about and how you can celebrate.
Where did the name Juneteenth come from?
The day's name is a combination of “June” and “nineteenth” in honor of the date of Granger's announcement and first appeared around 1903. It is also known as African American Freedom Day or Emancipation Day.
What is the appropriate greeting for Juneteenth?
You can say “Happy Juneteenth Day!”
What do the Juneteenth colors represent?
While the original Juneteenth flag was red, white, and blue for slave’s independence day, Juneteenth is often represented through three main colors: red, black, & green. These colors are from the Pan-African Flag. Red: the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and that which was shed for liberation; black: black people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state, is affirmed by the existence of the flag; and green: the abundant natural wealth of Africa.
What are some popular Juneteenth traditions?
1. Drink red drinks and eat red foods.
Popular choices are strawberry soda, red punch, and red velvet cake. Red, in many West African cultures, is a symbol of strength, spirituality, and life and death. It is also meant to symbolize the blood of the millions of enslaved people who had suffered and died. Each item on the Juneteenth table, collectively, holds a lot of symbolic meaning.
2. Dress in the colors.
If you’re going to a celebration for Juneteenth, there tend to be a few different options. Some wear red, white, and blue in honor of the original flag. Many wear fine, white clothing in honor of their ancestors who did not get to choose their clothing. Others wear the Pan-African flag colors to represent remembrance and prosperity.
3. Listen to music.
A great way to celebrate Juneteenth is to listen to and celebrate Black artists. Also, many events will reflect on the traditional hymns that their ancestors would sing. Two of the most common are “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Aliya Faust has put together an awesome family friendly playlist for celebrating Juneteenth here.
4. Learn the history.
Juneteenth is an important day of education for our country. It commemorates the moments when slaves actually learned that they were emancipated two years after they were freed. Starting with history is an important way to celebrate. Here are a few great resources:
- National Museum of African American History and Culture: The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth
- History.com: What is Juneteenth?
- Indy’sChild: 4 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth with Your Kids
Juneteenth is both an important day of remembrance and education, and a fun celebration to honor African American culture and history. Hopefully this gives you a few different ideas on how to celebrate and acknowledge Juneteenth this weekend.