This year, the city of Philadelphia has declared Juneteenth an official holiday. At Pond Lehocky, we are committed to listening and are taking this opportunity to learn more about this important holiday.
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. This monumental holiday is the only one that commemorates the abolition of slavery; more specifically, the emancipation of enslaved Africans throughout the United States of America. Read more here.
“It is important to note that slaves were technically freed by the emancipation of proclamation 2 and a half years prior to Juneteenth. Slaves who were not informed continued to work as slaves until a union general went to Texas and told the slaves they were supposed to be free,” Client Services Representative, Champayne said. “Juneteenth is a time of celebration, not only for the ‘abolition’ of slavery but because this is the day slaves truly learned they were free, a day to remember and celebrate everything our ancestors went through for us to be where we are today.”
“Like most Americans who feel a sense of liberation and freedom on the 4th of July – Juneteenth is exactly that for the black/African American community,” staff member Donald Russel shared. “Recognition on the state level is important but the goal is recognition on a federal level. Now more than ever, black recognition is at an all-time high and by pushing for this to be acknowledged on a broader scale, it will offer a bit more progress and inclusiveness for the black community.”
Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade and Festival has created a great guide on how to celebrate and support the holiday this year while we continue to maintain social distance during the pandemic. The organization is hosting a virtual celebration at on Friday at 5:00 pm, where they will provide education on the history of the holiday, a book reading for children, and African dance. You can RSVP for free here.