This year marks the start of Yelp recognizing Juneteenth as a global paid holiday. Observed on Friday, June 18, Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day) is known as the day that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and recognizes Black freedom and achievement. We invited Dr. Marguerite Hinrichs to provide background information and lead an interactive and engaging discussion as we recognize the significance of Juneteenth in American history.
Juneteenth has been a tradition in the U.S. for more than 150 years. The holiday is rooted in Texas history, where enslaved African-Americans in the city of Galveston were finally informed of their freedom on June 19, 1865, about two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.
Juneteenth observances vary. For some, it’s eating barbecue, shooting fireworks, and gathering at a cookout. For others, it’s shopping at Black-owned businesses, sharing history, celebrating Black joy, or resting at home. Check out LifeatYelp to hear some of our employees discuss what Juneteenth means to them and how they observe the holiday.
Since the struggle for equality and racial justice is far from over, recognition of the holiday is not enough. We encourage everyone to dig deep and choose growth. Here are some ways you can honor Juneteenth.
- Study Black history, Black writers, Black leaders, and Black achievements
- Support Black-owned businesses
- Donate and volunteer for Black-led and Black-serving organizations
Juneteenth provides an opportunity to reflect on the role we can play as allies to the Black community and people of color. One of the most valuable things we can do is listen, lean in, and celebrate all parts of Black humanity.