Up until last summer, many people in America (and even some Black Americans) had no clue what Juneteenth (June 19) was or how to celebrate it. The annual holiday that commemorates the general ending of slavery in the U.S. was a foreign concept that was resurrected following the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests and public outcry for more support for the Black community. In doing this, both individuals and corporate America have made it their business to honor the history behind the significant date.
Following last year's widespread commemoration, we've learned the many ways we can show our support and properly honor our heritage on this day. From buying Black to helping out in our local communities, there are plenty of ways to tailor what your Juneteenth looks like. This year, we're adding a twist to honor Black beauty in all its different facets. Here are a few ways to transform your freedom into a weekend-long celebration of what Black beauty means to you.
Buy your favorite go-to beauty product from a Black-owned brand.
What better way to honor our beauty than to buy from a Black-owned makeup, skincare or haircare brand? Buying Black will not only make you look good, it'll make you feel good about keeping the Black dollar in the community. Don't know where to start? Check out a few of these brands and their great makeup products.
Read up on the history of Black hair.
There's power in understanding your roots – literally. Knowing how our ancestors cared for their natural roots in what's so empowering about seeing how far Black hair has evolved over the years. There are plenty of books that untangle both the science and history behind Black hair you can indulge in this Juneteenth. You can even browse through some of these Black-owned online bookstores to support another Black-owned business.
Head to a pop-up exhibit for a nostalgic Black hair experience.
If a book doesn't always tickle your fancy, there is an incredibly-immersive pop-up hair experience you can visit if you're in the Atlanta and DC areas. The Black Hair Experience is a cultural exhibit that was created to encapsulate some of our most nostalgic hair moments for what's described as the "Black Girl Magic playground." So don't just read about your heritage, do yourself a favor and go experience it for yourself live in the flesh.
Engage in honest dialogue around self-care passed down from the elders.
Black documentaries are always a great way to be visually inspired by the wisdom in our community. It allows us another medium to engage in open discussions centered around our history and values as Black people. If you're looking for something that powerfully highlights the resilience of Black women, Netflix's In My Mother's Garden offers an enriching film that dissects our lineage and love through stories told by fellow daughters, mothers and grandmothers.
Reaffirm the concept of Black beauty with a Juneteenth-centered film.
Last year we were fortunate enough to see a film actually centered around the idea of Juneteenth and the real-life pageant contest that takes place in Texas. A movie that celebrates Black girlhood in relation to the annual holiday is exactly what you need to watch this Juneteenth to reaffirm what makes our Black beautiful.
Write a journal entry and define what Black beauty means to you.
For a holiday like this where there's still so much to learn, self-reflection is the best way to grasp why Juneteenth is so significant. In celebrating this holiday, writing down our thoughts and feelings about it helps us better understand why it's so important for us to celebrate our Blackness in all shapes, sizes and hues.