Juneteenth (formally known as African American Freedom Day or Emancipation Day) is in representation of June 19th, 1865. This date marks the time when the enslaved African Americans in Confederate States were told they were no longer under the law and concept of being enslaved… two years AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation.  Although January 1, 1863, is when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, it was not yet implemented everywhere. The concept of enslaving humans was still protected under Confederate control in ten states.   However, on June 19, 1865, many Union troops made it to Galveston Bay, Texas. There they officially pronounced that over 250,000 enslaved African Americans in the state were no longer enslaved under this law.

Juneteenth has now become a well-known federal holiday and is to be celebrated all throughout the United States. June 19, 2023 is a historic date. What a time to be alive and see what is known as our second Independence Day! This day marks not only what is known as Freedom, but also union, hope, and another milestone for our country. This is a time to grow, build with other communities, and share our experiences and truths.

Born in the 80s and growing up in the 90s, I always knew I was considered a black girl. But I never acknowledged what that meant in America. I grew up in a predominantly Latino neighborhood where many of my classmates and friends did not have my hair texture, complexion, or home structure. They also had their own language, which their parents spoke, but my Puerto Rican friends and classmates spoke both English and Spanish. Still, I mainly saw more of what we had in common. Things like our style of clothing, music, and neighborhood culture. I noticed these things more than the things that were obviously different. Especially since black excellence was not being taught in our neighborhood schools. Growing up, in my old neighborhood, we did not learn much about black excellence in school. We were mostly taught about what I’d like to call the “Big Three”, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and, of course, Harriet Tubman. But there were no lessons on any of the other African American history icons such as Malcolm X or Nat Turner. I did not get to learn about things like The Black Panther Party or Black Wall Street. With the busyness of work and staying on top of the lessons that were being taught, my mom never got deep into the history of our excellence either. Most of my information came from anecdotes my cousin would tell that she learned from her school. Because of this, I made sure to take Africa American Studies and Africa American History during my college years. Eventually, in my preteen years, I started to notice differences between races such as bi-racial people. I also learned about the Afro-Latin community and their culture. Essentially, I learned how amazing it was and is to be a Black woman in America! Now as an adult Black woman, or Woman of color, I have decided to further educate myself in the history of my people. I encourage you to do the same.

Take some time to learn ways to celebrate Juneteenth. Not sure how to do that? Here’s a hint, celebrate the same as you would on any other holiday- with family, friends, and food! I would also try shopping at and supporting Black Owned businesses and establishments. Help our community to rebuild, or to build, generational wealth. Give resources about financial literacy to People of Color (POC) that may need such information. Because, after all the fireworks and BBQs are gone, we still have a long way to go yet to reach our fullest potential as a group.

Here are other examples of things to do. Simply Google your city and state and find out what and where they are hosting Juneteenth festivals or events. Here’s few for consideration…

  • Chicago: Chance the Rapper’s Juneteenth – BBQ at the DuSable museum. 
  • Atlanta: Parade & Music Festival 
  • Houston: Houston Juneteenth Unbranded Takeover 

You can always create your own annual event for you, your family, and friends too!

Google Black inventors and see all the amazing things that were created by Black Americans. Some examples to get you started:

  • Garrett Morgan: Inventor of the Three-Position Traffic Signal and the Gas Mask; saved countless lives.
  • Jesse Russell: Pioneer in the field of cellular and wireless communications.

And my personal favorite…

  • George Crum: Inventor (unintentionally) created the potato chip during the summer of 1853.

Final words: Find something local in your city or state and make this your annual celebration!

Celebrate responsibility!

Peace and many Blessings! Enjoy!

Happy JUNETEENTH, from my family to yours!

FlexTrades is all about manufacturing, and this industry is all about making things. However, we try to remember the people doing the making, and all the things that are important to them. Our families, careers, and histories deserve recognition beyond what we do when we’re “on the clock.” In that light, this article will gladly answer a question that we are hearing more and more often…

What is Juneteenth?

We’re thrilled to see awareness around this holiday grow every single year, and we’re very happy to answer the question above.

Juneteenth is observed annually on June 19th and has been since 1865. It began in Galveston, Texas, following the Civil War, as African American Emancipation Day. In the 156 years since, the celebration has grown and spread beyond the United States and, sometimes, beyond the date. Today, Juneteenth is a day, a week, and in some areas even a month that commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement.


Juneteenth originated  when Major General Gordon Granger landed with his regiment and brought news to Texas of Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and General Robert E. Lee’s April 1865 surrender. This announcement “officially” freed the enslaved population of Texas with Granger’s General Order Number 3.

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.”

Why Is Juneteenth Important Today?

Juneteenth today celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. But, as historian Henry Gates Jr says, today the day is “not only an opportunity to celebrate, but to speak out.”

As the holiday grows in a national — and even global — perspective, Juneteenth is becoming an increasingly symbolic event to not only recognize the achievements of the past but to also advocate for societal improvements in the future. In essence, we’re all collectively remembering where we came from while recommitting to what we want our future to be. How can you not celebrate that?

How Can I Celebrate?

In the Workplace:

Recognizing Juneteenth in the workplace doesn’t just support corporate diversity; it shows a true commitment to creating a diverse workforce and recognition of an increasingly diverse society. There are many ways this can be done, but bringing in a guest speaker is a great one.

In the Community:

If your community doesn’t already have a Juneteenth committee, forming one is a great first step. However, if it does, participating in events is all you really need to do. Whether attending a block party, hosting guest speakers, or watching a parade; the aim of the day is to remember, celebrate, encourage, and support freedom, unity, and improvement among all of us. There isn’t a wrong way to participate in that!

In the Home:

Plan a special meal and gather the family together to acknowledge Juneteenth. Decorate your table and/or door with a Juneteenth theme and discuss what the celebration of the day means. Emphasize the mandates of responsibility and striving to be the best you can be. Make specific pledges for the remainder of the year, ask for support in accomplishing your goals, and commit to supporting the goals of another.

Additional Resources

We hope this FAQ didn’t just answer your question but inspires you to more actively engage with Juneteenth this year. If you still have questions, there’s a lot more to learn about the holiday. You can always get other answers from us too. Just send your questions to our Writing Team and keep an eye out for future FAQ’s. We can’t wait to share our next answer with you!