Juneteenth is a significant day in the history of America, marking the day when the last enslaved people in the United States learned of their freedom. This holiday, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, or Emancipation Day, has been an annual celebration since June 19th since 1865. Juneteenth is now recognized as a federal holiday in the United States, providing an opportunity for individuals and communities to reflect on the progress made toward racial justice and equality, and to acknowledge the work that still needs to be done.
For elderly residents living in Metairie, LA senior living, Juneteenth is an opportunity to join the celebration of freedom and learn more about the history of this important holiday. Here are some activities that residents and teams can do to commemorate Juneteenth in their community:
What Is Juneteenth and Why Is It Important?
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, is a holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and that all enslaved people were now free. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed two years earlier, it was not enforced in Texas until Granger’s arrival.
Juneteenth is an important holiday for many reasons. It celebrates the end of slavery in the United States and the resilience and strength of the African American community. It is also a time to reflect on the ongoing struggle for civil rights and racial justice.
One way to commemorate Juneteenth in Metairie, LA assisted living is to learn about the history and significance of the holiday. This can involve reading books and articles about Juneteenth, watching documentaries, and attending lectures and discussions about the holiday.
12 Fun and Meaningful Activities to Celebrate Juneteenth
- Host a Juneteenth Celebration with Music and Dance: Hosting a Juneteenth celebration with music and dance can be a great way to commemorate the holiday in assisted living centers. Consider playing traditional African-American music, such as gospel or blues, and providing instruments or shakers for residents to participate. You can also hire a local dance group to perform or even host a dance lesson for residents. By engaging in music and dance, residents can connect with their cultural roots and create a sense of community and celebration.
- Share Stories and Discuss History: Juneteenth is a significant day in African-American history, and sharing stories and discussing their importance can be a meaningful way to commemorate the holiday. Consider inviting a guest speaker or historian to discuss the history of Juneteenth and its significance. Encourage residents to share their own personal stories and experiences related to the holiday, allowing them to connect with each other and learn more about their shared heritage.
- Create Juneteenth Themed Crafts: Creating Juneteenth-themed crafts can be a fun and engaging way for residents to participate in the celebration. Consider providing materials for residents to make traditional African-American crafts such as kente cloth or Adinkra symbols. You can also create decorations for the centers such as banners, flags, or signs commemorating the holiday. By engaging in art activities, residents can express their creativity and learn more about African-American culture.
- Watch a Historical Film: Watching a historical film related to Juneteenth can be an educational and engaging way to commemorate the holiday. Consider screening films such as “Glory” or “Amistad,” both of which depict important events in African-American history. After the film, you can facilitate a discussion to allow residents to share their thoughts and reactions to the movie.
- Host a Potluck: Hosting a potluck can be a great way to bring residents together and share traditional Juneteenth foods. Consider providing recipes for dishes such as BBQ ribs, collard greens, or sweet potato pie. Encourage residents to share their own favorite recipes or bring in family recipes that have been passed down through generations. By sharing food and stories, residents can connect with each other and celebrate their shared heritage.
- Plant a Garden: Planting a garden can be a meaningful way to commemorate Juneteenth and connect with nature. Consider planting traditional African-American crops such as okra, black-eyed peas, or watermelon. You can also create a community garden for residents to tend and care for together. By engaging in gardening activities, residents can connect with the earth and learn more about African-American agricultural practices.
- Participate in a Community Service Project: Participating in a community service project can be a meaningful way to give back and commemorate Juneteenth. Consider organizing a service project such as a neighborhood clean-up or a food drive for a local food bank. By working together to help others, residents can connect with their community and make a positive impact.
- Read Juneteenth Literature: Reading Juneteenth literature can be an educational and engaging way to commemorate the holiday. Consider selecting books such as “Juneteenth: A Novel” by Ralph Ellison or “Freedom’s Gifts: A Juneteenth Story” by Valerie Wesley. You can also organize a book club discussion to allow residents to share their thoughts and reactions to the literature.
- Attend a Juneteenth Parade: Attending a Juneteenth parade can be a fun and engaging way to celebrate the holiday. Consider organizing a group outing to a local parade, or hosting a parade within the assisted living center. You can decorate wheelchairs or walkers with traditional Juneteenth colors or provide instruments for residents to play as they walk in the parade.
- Watch “13th” on Netflix: This documentary film directed by Ava DuVernay explores the “intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States.” It provides a deep analysis of the 13th Amendment and its impact on Black Americans and highlights the systemic racism that still exists today. Watching this film can be a powerful way to learn more about the history of Juneteenth and its ongoing significance.
- Share family stories and history: Juneteenth is a time to reflect on the struggles and triumphs of the past and to honor the legacy of those who came before us. One way to do this is by sharing family stories and history with others in your community. This can include tales of ancestors who were enslaved, as well as stories of their resilience, resistance, and eventual liberation. Sharing these stories can help to build connections between generations and to promote a deeper understanding of our shared history.
- Attend a community event – Many communities host Juneteenth celebrations, which can include parades, concerts, and other festivities. Attending one of these events can be a great way to connect with others in your community and honor the legacy of Juneteenth. You can also take this opportunity to learn more about the history of the holiday and its ongoing significance, by listening to speakers or participating in educational activities. By coming together with others to celebrate Juneteenth, you can help to keep the spirit of freedom and justice alive for generations to come.
By participating in these activities in Metairie, LA assisted living, you can honor the legacy of those who fought for freedom and justice and celebrate the progress made toward equality and inclusion. Juneteenth is an opportunity to come together as a community, learn from each other, and celebrate our shared history and culture.