19 ways to celebrate Juneteenth as a family

The holiday commemorating the day slaves in Texas learned they were free is going to be BIG this year: Here's how every family can celebrate with kids.
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By Megan Braden-Perry

Juneteenth 2020 will be one to remember. How will you celebrate?

Juneteenth commemorates the day slaves in Texas learned they were free — June 19th 1865, two years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after the Civil War ended. Now it seems like Black and allied voices who’ve been working to get Juneteenth recognized as a national holiday are finally being heard. Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth as a holiday, and companies including Amazon, Google, Nike and Target have all decided this year to observe it.

So, how do you observe Juneteenth? Celebrations vary across the nation, with Texas, of course, having some of the most grand, but there’s one overall way for everyone to celebrate: rejoice in Black culture with loved ones.

Here are 20 ideas for fun ways for families with kids of all ages to celebrate:

Music

June is also Black Music Month.

1. Give a listen to Roy Ayers’ album, JID002 (Jazz Is Dead 002) on its release date.

2. Gather the family to watch classic episodes of “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” on Amazon Prime.

3. Explore Spotify’s Black Music Month playlists (in settings, you can turn off explicit content).

4. Teach the kids about freedom songs and spirituals, like “We Shall Overcome,” “Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round,” and “Wade in the Water.”

5. Learn the basics of Black music from the National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Books

Many social networking users are buying any two books by Black authors and posting them using the hashtags #blackoutbestsellerlist and #blackpublishingpower, from now through June 20.

6. Buy Dr. Arlisha Norwood’s children’s book, Black Heroes: A Black History Book for Kids: 51 Inspiring People from Ancient Africa to Modern-Day U.S.A.

7. Check out the list of books, authors and illustrators that won Coretta Scott King awards for excellence in Black children’s literature.

8. Explore The Conscious Kid’s collection of books about black boyhood.

9. Similarly, take a look at the assortment of books about black girlhood on A Mighty Girl.

10. Search through thousands of free reading guides for Black children’s and young adult books on Teaching Books.

Screen

Several streaming platforms are currently highlighting their offerings of Black interest.

11. Watch “Soul!” on Tubi TV for free, and enjoy late ‘60s and early ‘70s interviews and performances from Black legends including Muhammad Ali, Stokely Carmichael and the members of Earth, Wind & Fire.

12. Enjoy Nickelodeon’s 1995 classic “My Brother and Me,” a wholesome yet funny show about a Black middle class family living in Charlotte, N.C.

13. Prepare a child to attend an HBCU by watching “A Different World,” a ‘90s NBC sitcom about college students attending a fictional historically Black college, Hillman.

14. Check out “Gullah Gullah Island,” an early ‘90s Nick Jr. sing-along show about a Gullah family living on the South Carolina Sea Islands with their huge frog friend, Binyah Binyah.

15. Take a look at “The Proud Family,” an early 2000s Disney cartoon about a Black girl in her early teens, Penny Proud, her family and her friends.

Food

The Black table is the best place.

16. Support local Black-owned restaurants with UberEats; the company is waiving delivery fees at Black-owned establishments.

17. Try the shrimp and sausage pasta recipe from Chef Jordan Ruiz of The Munch Factory. You can also learn from Nneka M. Okona and Black food writers.

18. Search on social media for local Black-owned restaurant information groups, like Where Black NOLA Eats in New Orleans on Facebook.

19. Buy the “Southern Creole” E-cookbook from Black chef and “Chopped” champion, Chef Kenneth Temple

Megan Braden-Perry