is excited, Juneteenth is here! Each year, she looks forward to this celebration of freedom and unity, and this time, she's eager to share the day with you!
Understanding Juneteenth (June + 19th)
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Emancipation Day or Jubilee Day, is a significant moment in our nation's history. On June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, the last enslaved African Americans learned that they were free, 2 years, 5 months and 18 days after this proclamation was already in effect for the rest of the country. Bella appreciates this day because it marks something really significant, the commemoration of the end of institutional slavery in the United States—an event that continues to shape who we are and how we view freedom and equality.
Juneteenth celebrations started in 1866, and have continued to today. In June 2021, Juneteenth officially became a national holiday.
Here are 5 fun kid-friendly activities for Juneteenth as recommended by Bella.
1. Have Fun Reading
Bella loves to read, and books are a great way to learn about the history of this special day.
"Let's Celebrate Juneteenth" by Tonya Abari and Opal Lee, the story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth are two of her favorite Juneteenth books for children. There are a few others pictured above.
This Juneteenth, spend time as a family reading about Juneteenth to understand the history and the resilience that this day symbolizes. There are also fun videos Bella watches from Gracie's corner and Sesame Street that highlight this special day.
2. Create a Freedom Collage: Juneteenth Craft Activity
With the story of Juneteenth in mind, Bella likes to express her creativity by creating a freedom collage. Cutting out pictures from magazines, Bella selects images that to her, symbolize freedom, resilience, and unity. Art is a powerful means of expression. Encourage your kids to create a freedom collage using images and words from magazines, newspapers, or even printed pictures.
Here's an example of one Bella and her bestie made last year:
Through images, you can have engaging conversations about what freedom means to each of them. This activity not only encourages creativity but also allows children to express their understanding of Juneteenth.
3. Spread Love and Joy to others with Handmade Cards
Love and unity lie at the heart of Juneteenth, and Bella loves to express this through homemade cards. Writing thoughtful messages, she sends them to her friends, reminding them of the bond they share.
Follow Bella's lead this Juneteenth and create handmade cards with your children. Write messages of unity, appreciation, and love, extending the celebration to your friends, family, and neighbors.
4. Bake Freedom Cupcakes
Cooking together is a fun and educational activity. For Juneteenth, Bella loves to bake red velvet cupcakes, a traditional dessert for the celebration. Here's a fun recipe you can try:
No celebration is complete without a feast! Bella has fun at the annual picnic and eats her favorite barbecue and red treats like red velvet cake!
This year, consider introducing your family to the culinary traditions of Juneteenth. Gathering together to cookout and celebrate meal serves as a bonding experience and a moment of gratitude. Foods like black-eyed peas, collard greens, cornbread and barbecue are typical. Be sure to have lots of red treats - watermelon, red velvet cake and a yummy strawberry drink.
5. Make a Freedom Flag or Unity Bracelets
Flags are powerful symbols, and designing a personal Freedom Flag can be a creative and meaningful Juneteenth activity. Using construction paper, markers, or paint, invite your kids to create a flag that represents freedom to them. This could include symbols, colors, or words that speak to freedom, unity, and resilience.
If you enjoy crafts, making unity bracelets is another great way to celebrate the Juneteenth spirit. Use three colors of string—red, black, and green, representing the Pan-African flag which symbolizes people of the African diaspora and Black freedom in the United States.
Storytelling and Positive Affirmations
As you encourage your child to express their thoughts and emotions throughout the day, Bella, along with her book of affirmations can help your child process the day's learnings positively through play.
Juneteenth is a day to remember
Bella treasures Juneteenth as a day to remember our history, celebrate freedom, and spread love and unity. We hope you have a wonderful Juneteenth Celebration. Let us continue to inspire our young girls to appreciate their roots, love and celebrate who they are inside and out, dream boldly, and embrace resilience. Have fun on this wonderful day and take lots of photos and videos with Bella!
Be sure to share them with us. Tag us on social media @beautifulcurlyme.