Deciding to stay indoors for precautionary measures is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, not just because of the coronavirus, but also due to recent protests resulting from the death of George Floyd.
With many cities reopening across the U.S amid COVID-19, the world is left wondering “when will it be safe”?
Although this month has already proved to be one for the history books, there’s still Juneteeth to look forward to, even from the comfort of your home.
The observance of June 19th also known as Juneteeth, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Cel-Liberation Day, Black Fourth of July, celebrates word of emancipation finally coming to a group of enslaved people in Galveston, Texas.
The holiday is meant to commemorate the emancipation of 4 million slaves, but particularly the small handful who weren’t aware that emancipation had come months earlier.
Previous years of Juneteeth celebrations included festivals, parades. and concerts. However. this year may look a little different if you’re having second thoughts on attending live events post quarantine.
Here’s how to celebrate:
Spiritual scripture readings
Now is a perfect time to participate in something more uplifting by reading a few scripture verses aloud in celebration of our ancestors being officially freed.
A great way to implement this form of observance is by inviting family and friends over via Zoom and empowering one another during this time of unrest.
Doing so can act as a substitute for the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, which is typically done during many Juneteeth ceremonies.
Plan a special meal
Collard greens, sweet potatoes, and watermelon were all commonly grown during slavery and offer a variety of cooking methods that you can incorporate in remembrance of Freedom Day.
A staple in African-American culture, planning a special meal similar to that of Thanksgiving not only symbolizes solidarity, but it’s a reminder of how important unity is while facing hardships.
To make things more festive, decorate your table and door with a Juneteenth theme and discuss what the celebration means to you.
Decorate the yard
In many ways, Juneteeth exemplifies how freedom and justice in the U.S have always been deferred for black people.
We continue to see these injustices played out throughout media as we grasp the reality that people of color continue to be treated unfairly, nearly 400 years after slavery.
By decorating the yard with Juneteeth inspired decor, you’ll remain socially distant while still showing pride for the holiday and its origins.
Encouraging neighbors to celebrate
Making social change can prove to be impossible with additional fears of the coronavirus. We are unsure of when it’ll be safe to resume normal activity, yet activists want to continue to make an impact while still being socially safe.
This Juneteeth, take the responsibility of encouraging neighbors to celebrate with you. Ways to spark neighborhood involvement include:
- Creating informative flyers of key points outlining the importance of June 19th
- Listing reasons why the community need to come together peacefully in honor of recent events
- Hosting a “6ft apart ” quarantine potluck
- Displaying yard flags throughout the community
Taking time to reflect
Self-care is extremely important now more than ever. Aside from your Sunday rituals of listening to online sermons, taking time to reflect and plan for the future during Juneteeth is another way to honor this important holiday.
Start by writing down goals for the coming months.
It may be difficult to envision what the world may look like after the final stages of reopenings, but having an idea of what you want to conquer next can help with any anxiety that lingers.
As a number of cities and states continue to move forward after months of lockdown, you can still participate in Juneteeth without risking your health. Getting involved and supporting Juneteenth celebrations creates new bonds of friendship and understanding among us in a time where we need it the most.
Have ideas on how to celebrate Juneteeth during quarantine? Comment below and let us know what you have planned!