Canada and the U.S. celebrate different holidays, but one American celebration that Canadians should know about—especially this year—is happening today: Juneteenth.
The name is a contraction of “June 19th,” the day in 1865 when the last Black slaves in the United States were formally freed from bondage. Since then, every year on June 19, African Americans have celebrated the date as a holiday (at various times calling it Freedom Day or Jubilee Day), and in the 1990s it started gaining official recognition. Today, 47 of the 50 American states celebrate it, and there is an effort underway to make it a federal holiday.
Today, Juneteenth is more important than ever. The current focus on civil rights abuses against Black Americans has made this holiday a rallying point for people who support racial justice and an end to institutional racism. There are a number of events all over the U.S. today, and we at Shiny Bud hope that the message of equality is heard by everyone.
2020 has turned out to be one of the most challenging years in our lifetimes. No one could have seen a deadly pandemic, an economic lockdown, and highly-charged civil rights protests dominating the world, but that’s exactly where we are right now. And as we move into the uncertain future, it is our hope that everyone will feel safe, recognized, and supported in the months ahead.