Juneteenth: Honoring Freedom and Celebrating Unity


My niece came by to spend time with her grandfather on Father’s Day. I caught the tail end of a conversation she was having with her grandparents about her being instrumental in her organization granting its employees time off to observe the holiday. 

This caused me to think about the significance of the 12th national holiday formally recognized in the United States. (Note: Even though the holiday has passed, its significance is still relevant.)

Juneteenth is more than just another day on the calendar (June 18th) or holiday where workers have a day off. It’s a celebration and remembrance that holds immense historical and cultural significance in the United States. 


On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring freedom for enslaved African Americans in Confederate states. But it took a while for the news to reach everyone. 

It wasn’t until June 19, 1865, that General Gordon Granger proclaimed freedom for all enslaved people, igniting the Juneteenth celebration we know today.

Equal opportunities 

Juneteenth serves as a symbol of freedom. It represents the resilience, strength, and unyielding spirit of African Americans. 

But it’s more than that—it’s a reminder of the ongoing struggle for civil rights and equal opportunities for all. 

Juneteenth commemorates the progress we’ve made and serves as a call to action to address the challenges that remain.

Community, Togetherness, Education, & Reflection 

Communities come together for lively gatherings, parades, and festivals. It’s a time to celebrate African American culture, history, and the invaluable contributions made by the community throughout history. 

Music plays a significant role, from soul-stirring spirituals to foot-tapping jazz. And let’s not forget about the infectious rhythms of the Juneteenth Two-Step and the spirited Ring Shout dances.

Juneteenth is also an opportunity for education and reflection. A chance to deepen our understanding, empathy, and dialogue. 

By learning more about Juneteenth, we can bridge the gaps and foster a stronger sense of unity. 

Supporting black-owned businesses during this time is crucial, as it not only uplifts the community but also promotes economic empowerment.


In recent years, Juneteenth has gained increased recognition and importance. Efforts have been made to establish it as a national holiday, and legislation has been passed to commemorate Juneteenth as the Juneteenth National Independence Day. 

It’s a step toward acknowledging the significance of this day in our shared history.

Moreover, Juneteenth has become a platform for activism and advocacy. It raises awareness about systemic racism and social justice issues, inspiring people to take action and work toward a more inclusive and just society. 

It’s a personal journey for each of us to reflect on what Juneteenth means in our lives and how we can contribute to positive change.


Juneteenth is a day that honors the past, celebrates progress, and reminds us of the work still ahead.

Embrace this day as an opportunity to come together, learn from one another, and actively participate in creating a society that upholds freedom, justice, and equality for all. 

Together, we can make a difference.

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Patricia “Pat” Bumpass is a ghostwriter, self-care advocate, author, and parent coach. She encourages and empowers women and parents with special needs kids to love themselves. Pat is North Carolina “born and bred” and loves coffee — hot or iced. You will often hear her say, “Twertles make me happy.” 🙂 

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