There was a new momentum surrounding the celebration of Juneteeth last year.
SHOP: 15 black-owned fashion and beauty essentials you need on your radar
Following George Floyd’s murder and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, more people recognized the holiday, celebrated it, and commemorated the day in new ways, with some corporate companies even getting into the mix and recognizing it as a paid holiday for employees.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States
In case you missed it, Juneteeth, also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, or Jubilee Day, is a special celebration on June 19th that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It is a symbolic day of liberation that celebrates freedom for all people living in the country.
Although President Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 as the official end of slavery, it didn’t stop there. African descendants were still enslaved years after that, and it wasn’t until the December 1865 ratification of the 13th Amendment on June 19, when slavery was legally ended in all states.
SHOP: 8 great gifts for her from black-owned businesses
At the time, approximately 250,000 people were still being held in slavery in Texas. On June 19, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston to announce that the Civil War had ended and all of the slaves had been freed. The day became known as Juneteenth.
But that freedom wasn't all that free. Although slaves were no longer legally allowed to be held in captivity, it was just the beginning of decades of racism and discrimination to come for African Americans in the United States, and the fight for true equality still continues today.
Is Juneteenth a national holiday?
Before 2021, 45 states and Washington DC recognized Juneteenth as a state holiday, but it wasn't recognized nationally. After Congress passed a bill to make Juneteenth a national holiday, President Joe Biden signed that bill into law in 2021 and made it official, which means most federal employees have the day off.
A Juneteenth celebration in NYC
So, how can you celebrate Juneteeth?
Consider it not only a celebration of freedom, but also a tribute to black culture as well. Take a peek at our guide below on a few ideas for ways to celebrate the holiday.
MORE: 12 beauty and fashion gifts from black-owned businesses your mom will swoon over
Support and shop black-owned businesses
Support black-owned businesses on Juneteenth: Like Stella Jean, Jessica Rich, and 241 Cosmetics
Consider buying a product from a black-owned business on Juneteeth.
Beyoncé made a major move last Juneteenth that took small black-owned businesses from obscurity to the spotlight when she launched her Black Parade song and a “Black Parade Route” on her website, which features black-owned businesses.
And she wasn’t the only one. Major retailers like Revolve, Sephora, Net-a-Porter, and many others went on to join fashion designer Aurora James’ 15 percent pledge to commit 15 percent of their shelf space to black-owned businesses.
Companies like Homebody CBD, Andrea Iyamah, Unsun Sunscreen, Nubyen, and Topicals were just a few that landed shelf space virtually and in-store on those retailers.
Homebody CBD Amethyst Soak, $42, Revolve
Andrea Iyamah Sarina Robe, $210, Revolve
Unsun Mineral Tinted Sunscreen, $29, Dermstore
Topicals Like Butter Mask, $32, Sephora
Nubyen X Revolve Mind Top, $50, Revolve
Nubyen x Revolve Surplice Front Legging, $90, Revolve
Check out the superstar singer's Black Parade route for a wide range of businesses to support, like Look Good Live Well, and give extra love to businesses that haven’t landed on major shelves yet too - or on Bey’s coveted list like Oprah-loved 241 Cosmetics.
Patronize a black-owned restaurant
Grab food to go or dine in at a local black-owned restaurant. Grubhub launched a new black-owned restaurants search tool this year, and Uber Eats launched one as well. It makes it easier to track down black-owned restaurants in your area.
Slutty Vegan is a black-owned and celeb-loved vegan burger hotspot in Atlanta
Book a black-owned hotel for your next vacation
In line with supporting black-owned businesses, consider searching for a black-owned hotel the next time you book a vacation. We haven’t seen a black-owned hotel search tool on major booking sites, just yet.
CN Traveler created a list of some of the hotels around the world travelers have swooned over, including, Negril Tree House Resort in Negril, Jamaica, and the Copper Door B&B in Miami.
Negril Tree House Resort, Rooms start at $149, Expedia
Copper Door B&B, Prices Vary, Expedia
Support black creators
Actress Tiffany Haddish talking to a crowd at a Juneteenth event last year
If there’s a creator you admire on social media, follow them, and if they have merch or create works of art, buy it. Take time to identify and connect with new black creators that fall within your interests too.
Celebrate the day with friends
Chance the Rapper and friends attended a Juneteenth celebration in Chicago in 2020
There will be Juneteenth celebrations around the country, so keep an eye on social media and local media outlets in your area like Thrillist, which list things to do on holidays.
You can also host your own Juneteenth celebration with a picnic or small party at home.
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.
HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.