Growing the Voices of Our Future
The Westside Gazette Newspaper is honored to feature these editorial contributions made by local students.
By Samara Rawls
Which drink is associated with Juneteenth? a. Strawberry Lemonade b. Strawberry Soda
- Mango Lemonade d. Mango Soda
If you chose B, you have the correct answer! Strawberry soda is a refreshing drink that many people use to celebrate this holiday. This drink is a reminder of the bloodshed slaves had to go through to be free which is why the drink is red. It represents the bloodshed of slaves. Now that you know this interesting fact about Juneteenth, I want to give you some ways you can continue celebrating the holiday.
- Support Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs)
Throughout our country, there are over 100 HBCUs that are creating future leaders, educators, and more jobs that need our help. Unfortunately, many of these colleges and universities are underfunded and need financial help. You can donate to them to help continue their strong histories and legacies. One way you can do this is by going to any HBCU website, and electronically send money or find any other options they may have to help financially. Also consider attending an HBCU for their rich culture and activities.
- Visit Galveston, Texas, or the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in D.C.
Another major thing you can do to continue celebrating Juneteenth is visit the historical city of Galveston, TX. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordan Granger signed the order that all slaves were free in this city. Another more modern place you can visit is the NMAAHC. I was at this museum a few years ago, and I really enjoyed seeing all the rich history of Blacks in America. The museum starts off at the very bottom, and here the story of slavery is explained, and all the struggles we had to go through just to be free. Then, as the levels go up, the higher the years go up. Towards the middle of the museum, it explains the Jim Crow time period, and how Blacks went through that. Then at the very top, it covers more recent events that have happened to African Americans. If you choose to go here, I recommend you plan to stay here the whole day because there is so much to see!
- Support Black Business
A third significant way to continue celebrating Juneteenth is to support Black-owned businesses. One way you can do this is simply by searching “Black-owned businesses near me”. Many will pop up, and you can support them! You can also find a business through social media. I was scrolling through Instagram and found a Black-owned business that sold body scrubs. I bought some myself, and it was great knowing I helped support someone who looked like me.
- Read a Book about Freedom
Another way to continue celebrating Juneteenth is by educating yourself on this holiday. One book I recommend reading is 12 Years a Slave, which is also a film, about a free man who was forced into slavery. You can also watch a classic television series like Roots, which is also a book.
- Attend a Juneteenth Celebration
Lastly, you can attend a Juneteenth Celebration next year. Since Juneteenth has passed, next year you can plan on going to a Juneteenth Celebration. I went to my first one this year while visiting my family in Virginia. It was at the library and the play was excellent! It combined the issues Black people face today and during slavery.
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