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Juneteenth Article by Meaningful Movies HS Member, Abby

by June 15, 2023 0

Federal holidays are more than just an opportunity for Americans to spend time with family, explore their hometowns, or simply sit back and put their phones on do not disturb. Each of these holidays directly represents essential parts of the values and culture of the American public. Juneteenth, a federal holiday on June 19th, has the added significance of simultaneously reminding Americans of their country’s dark past and the continued progress that the Americans before them have fought tirelessly to make. 

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. The date June 19th corresponds with Union Major General Gordon Granger’s order that proclaimed freedom for slaves in Texas in 1865, freeing more than 250,000 individuals. This was the last day that enslaved people were informed of their freedom. 

Although this year marks the 158th anniversary of this historic day, Juneteenth became a federal holiday only two years ago. President Joe Biden signed the legislation in 2021 as a result of the tragic police killings of Black Americans, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and the nationwide protests that they ignited. Biden explained that the holiday reflects his administration’s efforts to promote racial equity.

In addition to using the holiday to stimulate discussions and political actions concerning racism in America, many individuals and communities take Juneteenth as an opportunity to celebrate freedom and progress. The day is marked with festive parades, barbeques, and events revolving around fellowship and prayer. 

The star of these events is red foods – ranging from red soda to red velvet cupcakes to watermelon. This color represents the bloodshed and resilience of the enslaved people. It has become a staple at Juneteenth festivities.

Juneteenth offers Americans a variety of opportunities. Many are inclined to take full advantage of the day off and tune out the worries of reality. Others go to Juneteenth events and celebrate with a red-colored snack. Regardless, everyone should allow themselves a moment of reflection, both acknowledging the inequitable tragedies of the country’s history and looking back on the progress that America has made. For, the country must not forget the past as it continues working to create a brighter future for everyone.

We hope you can join us for one of our upcoming screenings in honor of Juneteenth.

Meaningful Movies Kirkland Online Event on Friday, June 16.

Meaningful Movies Ridgefield In-Person Event on Monday, June 19.

Meaningful Movies Tacoma and Gig Harbor Online Event on Wednesday, June 21.


This article was written by a member of the Meaningful Movies High School Group, Abby.

Photo By: Oladimeji Odunsi

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