9 Ways Non-Black People Can Show Allyship On Juneteenth

Ira L. Black - Corbis/Corbis News/Getty Images

An important American holiday is approaching, and I don't mean the Fourth of July. On June 19, we celebrate Juneteenth — which commemorates the ending of slavery.

It's an important holiday that should be recognized and celebrated across the country, and fighting for the liberation and uplifting of Black communities is one of the best ways non-Black people can honor the day. There are several important actions non-Black people can take on Juneteenth to honor and support Black Americans.

Juneteenth is known to many as the anniversary of the end of slavery in America, but that's not entirely correct. Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, but June 19, 1865 is celebrated because it marks the date when word of freedom arrived in Texas, freeing the remaining enslaved people more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Even then, many people were still enslaved years after news of freedom reached Texas.

Still, this holiday remains significant because of the way Black communities were able to claim it as their own and rally behind it. It was a holiday all their own without having to give credit to a nation that stalled their freedom.

While there are many traditions revolving around the celebration of Juneteenth, here are nine ways non-Black people can show their support.


Advocate To Make Juneteenth A Federal Holiday

NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Despite being celebrated since 1866, Juneteenth is still not recognized as a federal holiday, meaning that if it falls on a weekday, people have to go to work rather than take time off to commemorate it. This needs to change. You can advocate to make Juneteenth a federal holiday by signing petitions online or writing to Congress members.


Share Information On Social Media

Social media can be a great tool to share information and show your support for a cause. You can do this for Juneteenth as well. Share infographics about the holiday and and amplify Black voices on your social channels. The more you share about Juneteenth, the more likely it is one of your followers will do the same.


Sign Petitions Demanding Justice For Black Lives

Celebrating Juneteenth means celebrating Black lives — and you can't do this without advocating for the lives that have been taken senselessly. Sign petitions demanding justice for Black lives like #DefundThePolice and Breonna Taylor. Urge your representatives to take steps that will put an end to police brutality and unjust force in your community. Signing petitions can help get the attention of government officials. You can't commemorate Black emancipation without fighting for justice for those who have been killed due to oppression.


Shop Black-Owned Businesses

Supporting Black communities can be done in many ways and one of these is by shopping Black-owned businesses. Whether it's restaurants, clothing brands, makeup companies, or anything in between, supporting Black-owned businesses is crucial because it gives economic power to Black communities. This is something you should always be doing — not just on Juneteenth.


Attend Protests

SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

With Black lives still being taken without consequence, protests in the U.S. are still happening every day. Find a Black Lives Matter protest or a Defund the Police protest to attend. Listen to the speakers, be part of the crowd that's advocating for Black lives, and support your Black peers.


Stream Black Artists

You can celebrate Juneteenth by streaming Black artists and supporting their work. Black musicians have paved the way for others in almost every musical genre. Taking the time to appreciate the wide range of Black artists and the work they produce is an act of support as well. Stream their music, increase their Plays, and share your favorite songs and albums with others.


Make Donations To Black Organizations & Charities

There are many organizations that support different Black communities across the nation. Whether they support Black trans women, Black youth, or anyone in between, you can celebrate Juneteenth by donating to them. Do your research, make a donation, and then encourage your friends and family members to do the same.


Educate Yourself & Your Peers

Take the time to educate yourself and your peers about the history surrounding Juneteenth. Do not rely on your Black friends to teach you about the holiday. There are plenty of online resources, books, podcasts, and movies to help you understand the significance and history of Juneteenth.


Make Juneteenth Part Of Your Own Tradition

Juneteenth is pertinent to American history. It shines a light on the U.S.' relationship with slavery while honoring Black people who have had to battle with that history. Make it a point to celebrate Juneteenth in your own household. Designate it as a day to educate yourself on Black history, and support Black communities.