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Juneteenth: Here’s What to Do (and Not to Do)

Tanorria Askew shares her thoughts on how to celebrate Juneteenth (June 19), and what to avoid when celebrating.
Woman in yellow dress with coffee cup and book

It’s the month of June and that means that Juneteenth celebrations are coming. In addition to focusing on ways to help celebrate Juneteenth (June 19), I also want to shift my focus and talk about what NOT to do.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Woman in yellow dress with coffee cup and book
Tanorria Askew
WAYS TO CELEBRATE AND HONOR JUNETEENTH
  • Support Black owned businesses. Black owned businesses should be highlighted and recognized as leaders in their industry all year long, but especially during Black History Month and Juneteenth.
  • Go on your own journey of unlearning and learning. There is a lot of information that was left out of our history books, especially as it relates to Juneteenth. The only way to make a difference is to know where things started. A great place to start is with my Anti-Racism resource guide.
  • Participate in Juneteenth events while understanding that not all events are for everyone. Juneteenth is a sacred time within the Black community. It is honored and revered even more than the 4th of July. There are several community events that honor Juneteenth and invite anyone and everyone to join (make sure you Google which ones are available in your community). There are also events meant only for the Black community. Respect the sanctity of those events and don’t take offense.
  • Celebrate, don’t appropriate. There would be no Juneteenth if the enslavement of Black people did not take place. It would have never been made a federal holiday if it weren’t for the diligence of the Black community to bring to light the significance and impact of what Juneteenth represents. Make sure you don’t forget that in every element of your celebrations.
WHAT NOT TO DO IN CELEBRATION OF JUNETEENTH
black woman with short black curly hair wearing a black blouse with bright pink lipstick Tanorria Askew Juneteenth
Tanorria Askew
  • A lot of you have seen the insensitive efforts of Walmart to not only sell Juneteenth branded items, but to even copyright Juneteenth so that they can take full profit off those sales. Don’t do that!
  • Last year Juneteenth was established as a federal holiday in the United States. While this is a huge milestone for the recognition of the contributions Black people have made to this country, it still comes with a lot of grief, trauma, and unacknowledged history. There has been a lot of debate within organizations about whether or not to give employees a day off to celebrate. Employers, do yourself a favor and don’t make the insensitive statement of “You have PTO for that.”
  • Black History Month is the same month every single year. Some organizations did not start planning their acknowledgment of it until 1-2 weeks into February. Don’t do that! Contact me to find out how you can build engagement with your team and honor Juneteenth with a virtual cooking demonstration celebrating Black food and Black culture.

Tanorria Askew is the owner of Tanorria’s Table Consulting, and she is also the owner of Tanorria’s Table where she works as a personal chef and tv personality. She is the author of Staples + 5: 100 Simple Recipes to Make the Most of Your Pantry. Tanorria also serves as the D&I chairperson of the board for Slow Food Indy and is the co-creator of the podcast “Black Girls Eating.”

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