Today is June 19 – Juneteenth – The holiday celebrating the day when news of emancipation and the Civil War’s end finally reached the last group of slaves in America.
Although slavery had officially ended On January 1, 1863, with Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, there was no official attempt to liberate enslaved African Americans in the western union territories…. Until this day in 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger traveled to Galveston, Texas to tell enslaved Black folx of their freedom. A few months later in December of 1865, slavery in America was formally abolished in the 13th Amendment (with stipulations).
47 states (including NC) recognize today as a holiday and a reminder that freedom for Black people has been delayed by the ongoing institutional and systemic oppression of BIPOC in the United States.
Want to celebrate but don’t want to leave the house?
- Search Instagram, Etsy, and other social media sites for Black artists and companies and then purchase their products!
- Educate yourself and your friends and family about the importance of racial inequality in the United States.
- Buy gift cards from Black-owned businesses.
- Contribute to Kickstarters for Black-owned businesses.
- Contribute to funds and organizations that go directly to the Black community, including signing petitions, donating, following on social media and bail funds, .
- Watch a movie or tv show, listen to a podcast or music, or read a book that features Black comedy and/or joy.
- Get take out from a Black-owned business.
OR you and your family can join one of the multiple celebrations happening in Asheville –
This year, the Hillcrest Community is hosting their ninth Juneteenth Festival: Celebrating Freedom. The commemoration will run from noon to 8 pm at 100 Atkinson St. Social distancing and sanitation protocols will be followed to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Local hip-hop artist, Thomas Boyd, known as Ready Red, told the Mountain Xpress that the observance will feature a “series of wrestling and hip-hop performances that focus on telling the story of emancipation, soul food prepared by (local-restaurant) Daddy D’s Suber Soulfood, as well as neighborhood residents and kid-friendly activities.” Boyd also mentioned that “the event is open to anyone who wants to attend.”
With July 4th celebrations right around the corner, this an opportunity for our community to remember the darker parts of our history that we tend to roll under the rug. This observance aims to spotlight and celebrate Asheville’s Black community and encourage liberation from white-supremacy and colonialism.
Black-owned businesses in Asheville –
- Cleaster Cotton
- Curve Theory
- James Love
- Jenny Pickens
- Joseph Pearson
- Portrait Soul Readings
- Pro 16 Productions
- Still Smiling Photography
- Tia Nicole Photography
- Valeria Watson
- Viola Spells
- AVL Cake Lady
- Cooking with Comedy Catering
- Daddy D’s
- Dreadlife Kitchen
- Ms. Quitas Kitchen
- Sweet Thangs
- Tiger Bay Cafe
- The Cake Studio
Health & Wellness
- Asheville Pro Lash & Salon
- Black Lotus Massage
- Blaze Dance Studio
- Della Terra Beauty
- Closs Maintenance
- Jolie de Shea Hair Design
- Keep It Clean
- OSEGA Dream Academy
- Salon Roche
*Information provided by &the_undergrowth on Instagram
To find more information search “Juneteenth Asheville” on Facebook. Other events in Asehivlle include celebrations at the Pisgah View Apts and on Eagle Street.
mountainx.com/news/asheville-celebrates-juneteenth/ (Laura Hackett)