Guest written by Shaundell Newsome, Founder of Sumnu Marketing
What is Juneteenth they ask? Juneteenth (a portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth”), also referenced as the Second Independence Day, the Black Fourth of July, Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865, that General Granger announced in Galveston, Texas, the emancipation of all slaves in the state.
Early celebrations of Juneteenth were used for political influence and to educate newly freed slaves about voting practices. Over the years it has been celebrated with parties, picnics, parades, rodeos, family reunions, and other gatherings of family and friends with food being the centerpiece of celebrations. Some of the traditional or most common foods include barbecue, watermelon, red soda water (or anything else red), tea cakes, and of course, soul food.
Although celebrations date back to 1866 and Juneteenth was recognized as a state holiday in Nevada as of 2011, many people remain uneducated about this momentous recognition, let alone its significance. Many feel as though the lack of recognition is one representation of how freedom and justice for blacks have been delayed.
Juneteenth may not have been included in educational curriculums; however, in 2020 we now have the attention of the nation and several platforms to educate our communities and advocate for equality in legal systems, education systems, health care, politics, business ownership & education, real estate, sports & entertainment, and everywhere else.
It’s time that we lift every voice and sing in the name of freedom and justice for all!
Juneteenth flag designer L.J. Graf packed lots of meaning into her design. The colors red, white, and blue echo the American flag to symbolize that the enslaved people and their descendants were Americans. The star in the middle pays homage to Texas, while the bursting “new star” on the “horizon” of the red and blue fields represents a new freedom and a new people.
About the the author
Shaundell Newsome is the Founder & Visionary of Sumnu Marketing, Nevada SBA Family Owned Business of the Year 2015. He has been recognized as a marketing expert by In Business Las Vegas. Newsome is the author of The Twelve Steps of Marketing, A Perfect Guide to Branding. He serves as an online marketing mentor at www.sumnusolutionszone.com.