Celebrating Juneteenth with Orijin Bees – Teaching Our Children the Importance of Freedom and History

At Orijin Bees, we believe in celebrating the rich tapestry of our shared history and the milestones that have shaped our journey toward equality and justice. Juneteenth, observed on June 19th, is a pivotal day in American history that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It is a day of reflection, education, and celebration of African American culture and resilience. As a brand dedicated to diversity and inclusivity, we want to help families teach their children about the significance of Juneteenth and the enduring importance of freedom and equality.

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, marks the day in 1865 when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of the Civil War and the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Although President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had officially outlawed slavery in 1863, it took over two years for this news to reach the entire country, particularly the remote areas of Texas. Juneteenth stands as a reminder of the delayed justice and the continued fight for equality.

Teaching Children About Juneteenth

  1. Storytelling Through Books: Books are a powerful way to introduce children to historical events and cultural celebrations. Consider reading age-appropriate books about Juneteenth and African American history. Some recommendations include:

    • "Juneteenth for Mazie" by Floyd Cooper
    • "All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom" by Angela Johnson
    • "The Story of Juneteenth: An Interactive History Adventure" by Steven Otfinoski
  2. Engage in Art and Craft Activities: Children can express their understanding and celebrate Juneteenth through art. Encourage them to create artwork that represents freedom, unity, and African American heritage. This could include drawing, painting, or even creating a Juneteenth flag.

  3. Cook Traditional Foods Together: Food is an essential part of any cultural celebration. Cooking traditional African American dishes together can be a fun and educational experience. Involve children in preparing recipes such as collard greens, cornbread, and sweet potato pie. Discuss the significance of these foods and their roots in African American culture.

  4. Attend Local Juneteenth Events: Many communities host events to celebrate Juneteenth, such as parades, music festivals, and historical reenactments. Participating in these events can provide a deeper understanding of the day’s significance and a sense of community.

  5. Watch Educational Videos: There are numerous educational videos and documentaries available that explain the history and importance of Juneteenth. Watching these together can spark meaningful conversations and enhance your child's understanding of the day.

  6. Visit Museums or Historical Sites: If possible, visit museums or historical sites that focus on African American history and the Civil Rights Movement. These visits can provide a tangible connection to the past and a broader perspective on the struggles and triumphs of African Americans.

Why Juneteenth Matters Today

Juneteenth is more than just a historical event; it is a symbol of the ongoing struggle for justice and equality. By teaching our children about Juneteenth, we are fostering a sense of empathy, awareness, and social responsibility. It reminds us all that freedom and equality are values that must be upheld and fought for continuously.

At Orijin Bees, we are committed to celebrating diversity and promoting education about our collective history. This Juneteenth, let us come together to honor the past, educate the present, and inspire a future where freedom and equality are realities for all.

Happy Juneteenth from the Orijin Bees family!