Following the commemoration of Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday declared by President Joe Biden June 17, 2021, Black communities from around the nation continued to celebrate June 19 as a symbolic date of independence.
Festivals, gatherings, and speeches have been announced nationwide in order to recognize the importance of this day and to celebrate the rich heritage and culture that has influenced the world. It has become a day to celebrate, reflect, and educate in America.
Locally, the LSU NAACP organization held a Juneteenth event on campus that paid tribute to the holiday.
“It is important to acknowledge Juneteenth for how special and impactful this was for all Black people,” said LSU NAACP President Sydney Sadberry. “None of us are free unless all of us are free.”
The holiday represents and observes the end of slavery in the United States when news of emancipation reached Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865. It became the first federal holiday declared since Martin Luther King Jr. Day, nearly 40 years ago.
The celebration included a number of activities and became a safe space for Black students on campus to join together and celebrate.
Some of the activities included a Kahoot game with questions that are popular in Black culture such as “which rapper won a Pulitzer Prize for music in 2018”, “who owns the label 4pf” and “whose album went Platinum with no features.” The competitiveness as well as some of the answers of the game brought out lots of laughs. Gift cards to places such as Cupcake Junkie were included for the winners.
Along with games, food was also included for anyone attending as well as a Juneteenth Spotify playlist exclusive to Black artists in the music industry. Greek representation was also present at the event, which included Zeta Phi Beta members, and other LSU organizations presented their sponsorship.
A huge raffle contest was also presented at the event with lucky winners gaining a pair of Apple Airpods or a Polaroid camera.
Members of LSU NAACP repped their organization shirts and gave impactful speeches that solidified what it means to be Black and celebrating this holiday. Memberships were also given out at the event.
Even though there have been major advances in America, “there are still ways to go towards our fight for equality,” Sadberry said.