We’re excited to celebrate the latest federal holiday along with our fellow Americans! We’ve put together a resource list for learning about Juneteenth history, talking about Juneteenth with your children, Juneteenth crafts and activities to do at home, events to attend, and Black-owned businesses and nonprofits to support. Let’s dive in!
As a newer federal holiday, many Americans are still learning about Juneteenth – and there is a lot to learn. Juneteenth is a day for commemorating when Union soldiers brought news of freedom to the enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas.
The soldiers arrived two months after the Confederacy surrendered in the Civil War and about two and a half months after the Emancipation Proclamation, which legally freed enslaved persons in the Southern states.
Juneteenth also is called Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, Juneteenth National Independence Day, or African American Independence Day. The first Juneteenth occurred on June 19th, 1866 and just last year in 2021, Congress passed The Juneteenth National Independence Day Act making it a federal holiday.
Credit: Kenny Holston for The New York Times
We’re passionate about supporting parents and families in their individual pursuit of more education around social justice issues in the United States. If you’d like to learn more about the history of Juneteenth, there are a lot of great resources available:
The New York Times published a piece that provides a great overview of the history of Juneteenth, Juneteenth: The History of a New Holiday. This piece discusses the origins of the celebration, along with recent events that continue to inform the importance of the holiday.
Teach For America also has a wonderful list of resources compiled to help celebrate and educate us on Juneteenth. Their resources include videos, from documentaries to animated shorts all exploring, celebrating, and educating on Juneteenth.
If you’re looking for more structured educational content, their curated resource list also includes lesson plans and curriculum on the holiday. Our favorite pick for the Alltruists community is the downloadable Juneteenth Classroom Guide that is appropriate for kids kindergarten through fifth grade (Ebook version available).
If you’re looking for more ways to engage and educate your children at home this summer on Juneteenth, there is also the Juneteenth public learning resource from Learning For Justice. Designed for kids between third and fifth grade, this resource provides helpful questions like, “How can I ask people about their lives and experiences in a respectful, kind, and understanding way?” They provide other questions and prompts to inspire meaningful conversations with your children and family around Juneteenth.
If you’d like to get out and celebrate Juneteenth in person, there are a variety of festivals, parades, concerts, and free events taking place across the country. Be sure to check out this resource from Thrillist: Where to Celebrate Juneteenth Around The Country This Year. If you’re planning on staying home, here is a list of children’s books that honor Juneteenth and Black History. You can also listen to podcasts, like Code Switch which explores the subject of race in America with empathy and humor (intended for adults).
Celebrate by getting crafty at home with these fun DIY activities for kids and families to celebrate Juneteenth. We liked creating a Juneteenth Recycled Cardboard Flag Craft for Kids, or these adorable craft Juneteenth Confetti Poppers for kids. Both of these are a great way to keep your kids engaged and celebrating this long-weekend.
If you’re heading out for dinner or shopping this weekend, be sure to check out the National Black Guide Directory to find and support small, Black-owned businesses near you.
At Alltruists, we’re all about highlighting amazing nonprofits who are doing hard work on important issues. Here are a few Black-founded nonprofit organizations we’re excited to celebrate this Juneteenth:
Strive helps people acquire the life-changing skills and attitudes needed to overcome challenging circumstances, find sustained employment, and become valuable contributors to their families, their employers, and their communities.
Black Girls Code builds pathways for young women of color to embrace the current tech marketplace as builders and creators by introducing them to skills in computer programming and technology.
The Brotherhood Sister Sol is at the forefront of social justice, educating, organizing and training to challenge inequity and champion opportunity for all. With a focus on Black and Latinx youth, BroSis is where young people claim the power of their history, identity and community to build the future they want to see.
From everyone at Alltruists, Happy Juneteenth!