How to Honor and Celebrate Juneteenth

How to Honor and Celebrate Juneteenth


On Juneteenth, the Fortune Society is continuing our commitment to education, celebration, reflection and action.  

June 19, 1865 marks the day the last enslaved people learned of their freedom in Texas and has evolved into a day to honor Black history and culture, while also acknowledging how much progress is left to achieve.  

On June 18th, and each Juneteenth going forward, our offices will be closed to fully stand in solidarity with the Black community and allow for proper acknowledgment of what this day means and the power it holds.  

Fortune has compiled some resources for further learning and exploration, as well as suggestions for events to participate in on this momentous day and ways to support the local Black community. 

Learn the History  

Ground yourself in the history of Juneteenth – which is sometimes referred to as our “country’s second independence day.” The National Museum of African American History and Culture provides a comprehensive account of the holiday’s history. The museum also offers a virtual tour of the museum’s Slavery and Freedom exhibition, highlighting stories behind objects related to emancipation in their collection.  

Though we celebrate July 4th as Independence Day, that day does not mark liberation for all. Rather, Juneteenth is a true day of freedom. Consider reading Frederick Douglass’ speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” from July 5, 1862 for more context and this article about liberation and freedom on Juneteenth.  

Center Black Voices and Stories 

Explore The Atlantic’s extensive project titled “Inheritance”: “a project about American history, Black life, and the resilience of memory” for more historical context and to examine the lasting legacy of slavery in the United States.  

Browse this collection of films that elevate stories of Black experiences – all of which are free for viewing through the IFC Center.  

Explore the Legacy of Slavery Today 

Celebrate Juneteenth by watching True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality. The film follows Stevenson’s efforts to create fairness in the criminal justice system and examines how racial injustice was born, how it has evolved and been protected, and how to push back against it in criminal justice.  

Attend an Event or Gathering 

Attend “Rebirthing the Roots of Entrepreneurial Excellence: Juneteenth 2021” in-person or virtually for a three-day summit celebrating the Black community through empowerment, health and wellness, education and entertainment. View the schedule of events and register for the event here.  

Head to Brooklyn Space Modern Furniture’s pop-up art gallery showcasing New York City-based Black artists called “What It Feels Like.” The “immersive experience” highlights the experiences of Black artists. Learn more here.  

Support Black Communities  

Shopping or dining at a Black-owned business demonstrates support for economic and racial justice. Check out these community-compiled lists of Black-owned restaurants and eateries in New York City and Black-owned bookstores throughout the country 

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