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Celebrate & Commemorate Juneteenth

By VerityCU June 14, 2023 Community

Juneteenth, the newest federal holiday, is a day for celebration, reflection, and learning.

We celebrate because of what the day means: freedom from slavery and freedom for all.

We reflect because of what has and hasn’t changed since slavery in the U.S. ended, and how we can support an equitable society where everyone has the chance to thrive.

And, we learn: Even though progress has been made in the U.S. since the ending of slavery, there is still much work to be done and systems to dismantle. Descendants of slaves have historically been left out of the financial system because a myriad of laws and programs, all rooted in discrimination based on the color of their skin, leading to long lasting financial inequities.

Celebrate Juneteenth in Seattle

If you’re looking for ways to celebrate, reflect, and learn, we have some great ideas how to spend Juneteenth!

Head to Othello Park on Saturday, June 24, to participate in the celebration hosted by It Takes A Village. The annual event celebrates the Black community, and provides opportunities for others to learn about the Black experience in the U.S.

The event also celebrates the diversity of culture that makes up our neighborhoods and connects people to resources they need to live their best lives. Plus, it’s a day to enjoy time spent in and with community, sharing food, ideas, goods, and more. While you’re there, come say hi to us!

Can’t make the event? Celebrate Juneteenth in other ways: learn about the history of Juneteenth, discover it with friends and family, and such as be intentional in supporting Black-owned businesses.

Learn Juneteenth history

The history of June 19th, or Juneteenth, dates back to June 19, 1865. The holiday marks the date of 250,000+ enslaved individuals learned they were free. The day is also a sobering reminder of the horrors of slavery: The Emancipation Proclamation had passed into law two-and-a-half years previous. Yet, plantation owners in Galveston, Texas, chose to wait until the government informed slaves, effectively prolonging the enslaved peoples’ freedom.

Throughout the years after June of 1865, Black people were attacked financially, corrupting the core of generational wealth with events like The Great Migration, The Tulsa Race Massacre, and Redlining, which is still a tactic used in today’s real estate and not only has an effect on generational wealth, but education. These financial barriers played a significant role in creating today’s current wealth gap. Although it’s been 156 years since the enslaved population of Galveston received notice of the Emancipation Proclamation, and 95 years since the 15th Amendment established voting rights, inequity still runs rampant.

Learn more and get involved

Even though Juneteenth has become a federal holiday and is a time to celebrate, there is more work to do to repair the damage and inequities of slavery. We invite you to learn more about community partners working to do just that: