Juneteenth commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans is right around the corner. The celebration became the 12th federal holiday in 2021, so it might sound new to you. It has raised many questions, especially for brand owners and marketers who want to honor the upcoming celebration. But, don’t worry; we’ve got all the details you’ll need to commemorate and celebrate Juneteenth properly.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth, also known as Jubilee day or Black Independence Day, is a celebration and a federal holiday in the U.S. commemorating the liberation of enslaved African-Americans. African-Americans have been celebrating Juneteenth every year since 1865, when the Union army ensured the freedom of all the enslaved people.
Even though President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, it took another two years for the news to reach the southern United States. As a result, it didn’t get the status of a federal holiday in the United States until June 17, 2021.
Independence Day is known to everyone in the United States, but fewer people know about Juneteenth. Even after the declaration of independence, African-American people were still under the rules of slavery for another 87 years, so for the black community 4th of July celebration might seem a little tainted. Juneteenth is sometimes called “America’s true Independence Day.”
Why is it Important?
Raising awareness about systematic racism is an essential aspect of the Juneteenth celebration. It represents all the injustice African-Americans had to deal with for centuries. It is a significant step forward in recognizing past wrong-doings. In earlier days, there was little to no interest in this celebration from people outside the black community, but more and more people realized the importance of this holiday as time went by.
Juneteenth doesn’t only celebrate the abolition of slavery but all the accomplishments of the black community and a call to action for future growth. As historian Martin Kachun says, the holiday has three main goals “to celebrate, to educate and to agitate.” The black community’s fight for equality and justice continues today; therefore, more and more people and businesses must recognize Juneteenth to support them.
How is it Celebrated?
Like many other holidays, people celebrate Juneteenth with traditional food, music, and activities that promote cultural awareness. There is even a traditional drink associated with Juneteenth, a red strawberry soda, to symbolize the blood that the enslaved people shed. In addition, family reunions, cookouts, street fairs, and the Miss Juneteenth contest are essential parts of the holiday.
Interesting facts about Juneteenth
- Juneteenth is the longest-running African-American holiday
- Juneteenth was the first new federal holiday since the adoption of Martin Luther King day back in 1983
- There’s a special flag for Juneteenth. Half red, half blue with the white star in the middle·
How Can Brands Celebrate Juneteenth on Social Media?
Being an inclusive brand is the only way to go in the twenty-first century. Understanding the history, culture, and challenges of all marginalized groups in our society is critical to running a successful business.
Customers nowadays, particularly Millenials and Gen Z, the two most significant population segments, expect diverse marketing strategies from brands. They demand to be represented and celebrated, regardless of race, age, sexual identity, or ideals.
Step 1 – Educating Your Audience
Understanding history is a crucial element of any celebration. Thus, the first and most vital step is informing your consumers about the holiday’s significance through informative posts, videos, and articles, encouraging more people to participate in the festivities.
This is a fantastic chance to broaden people’s awareness of black people’s lives. Although learning more about the subject from the perspective of black people can provide you with fascinating insights, keep in mind that it is not their responsibility to educate others on the subject, and everyone should take it upon themselves to learn more about the importance of the celebration.
According to a 2015 study, only 8 to 9% of history class time in the united states is spent teaching about black history. Furthermore, it primarily focuses on the trauma of slavery and more negative aspects rather than more positive features like contributions and achievements of the Black community.
Step 2 – Raise Awareness, Not Sales
Brands should never exploit Juneteenth to enhance sales for your organization because of its historical importance and significance. Respect the day’s significance and history; don’t go down a route that is not just tacky but also insulting to the whole community. Juneteenth is a one-time opportunity to engage with your audience and raise awareness. Brands should demonstrate support for the black community rather than using it for personal benefit.
Step 3 – Support Black Creators and Amplify the Black Voice
The essential step corporations can take to recognize this holiday is to support black creators and the black community. Voices of African-Americans are often silenced and unheard by large audiences; therefore, this is an opportunity for corporations to demonstrate their support. Giving black creators a platform to share their stories and supporting black-owned businesses might be an excellent place to start. Make the most of your platform to effect positive change.
Step 4 – Give Your Employees a Day Off
As a show of solidarity for the Black community, some corporations have declared that they will observe or acknowledge Juneteenth as a paid holiday for their employees this year. It’s a chance for them to educate themselves and understand the importance of this day. Following George Floyd’s murder by a former police officer, a global racial awakening drove several Fortune 500 businesses to add Juneteenth to their calendars for the first time while pledging billions of dollars to projects to combat institutional racism. It is time for you to join the list of companies who acknowledge the said celebration.
Now that you already know the essential steps to take to honor Juneteenth. It’s time to do more research on the topic and understand the significance and meaning of the celebration on a deeper level to pass that knowledge on to your audience. Happy Juneteenth from the Internet Marketing Geeks!