What Juneteenth Means to Us

by Hemanth Puttaswamy |
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Happy Juneteenth everyone!

Although it has been known by many names throughout history, such as Emancipation Day or Jubilee Day,  Juneteenth has only recently become a national holiday. Here at Malbek, we have been observing June 19th since 2020. We feel that everyone, regardless of who they are, should take some time this Juneteenth to honor the struggles of the enslaved Americans and celebrate freedom. 

WHAT IS JUNETEENTH

If you're not familiar, Juneteenth is the oldest celebration of the emancipation of enslaved black Americans. To understand Juneteenth, here is Alexandria "Lexi B" Butler, Speaker, Influencer, and Founder of Sista Circle- Black Women in Tech, to present the background and symbolism of the holiday: 

 

If you are having trouble viewing this video, click here.

 

What Juneteenth Means To Us

The meaning of Juneteenth to us centers around community and progress. And there is no better way to showcase this than to hear from these three Black influencers, leaders, and activists: 

  • Odessa Jenkins, President at Emtrain and Co-Founder of Women’s National Football Conference
  • LaToya Jordan, Founder and Chief Consultant at Lead by Design Lab
  • Brittany King, 

If you are having trouble viewing this video, click here.

Juneteenth goes beyond the history of the enslaved. It is a day to recognize the history of many Black Americans who were able to persevere and push through the trials and evils of slavery. To paraphrase LaToya Jordan, Juneteenth is also an opportunity to be intentional about how we share our history and to understand how slavery- and ultimately emancipation and the fight for equality- is an integral part of the development of American identity and story. 

However, Juneteenth isn't just about the past. It is an opportunity to celebrate and be proud of the accomplishments of the Black community. On this note, a quote from Oddessa Jenkins  stands out: 

"For all of us, as citizens of the world, it's even more important to remember where we're going and to always be empowered that we can do better the next day."

It's also about hope. Much like what Brittany King said, Juneteenth is symbolic of the hope that our children will live in a world where we all believe and practice equality and justice, regardless of race, class, or creed. There is hope that, as long as we are intentional with the history and practice of Juneteenth, we will have a future filled with inclusive excellence. 

I'd like to invite you this Juneteenth to celebrate and honor the struggles and progress of Black Americans. Participate in a walk, take some time to learn some history, or watch a documentary. Juneteenth is about learning from the past and embracing a hopeful future. That is why at Malbek we celebrate diversity and inclusivity. There is a lot of progress to be made, but as a community, we can achieve the future that we strive for. 

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