08 Jul Juneteenth 2022 Reflection
Juneteenth or Freedom Day is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19th, 1865 General Gordon Granger and his regiment landed in Galveston, Texas with the news that the war was over, and enslaved Black Americans were free.
While Freedom Day is a celebration, we also acknowledge the impact of trauma caused by slavery and the systemic injustices that plague our Black communities today. Sharing knowledge about Juneteenth and the importance of Black liberation is more critical than ever, to ensure our communities feel safe.
“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” – Booker T. Washington
Our Center’s icon, Booker T. Washington, was born into slavery in 1856, rising to become one of the leading Black American thought leaders and champions of racial justice of the 19th century. He celebrated Black excellence and self-sufficiency while promoting the ideals of self-determination, self-improvement, and helping one’s community. We echo his mission and values by empowering the lives of our neighbors and offering individuals and families the services and support they need to be healthy and thrive.
In June, we hosted and participated in a variety of activities and events to celebrate the incredible Black community in San Francisco.
To kick-off the Juneteenth celebrations, we hosted our Black Food event with the award-winning chef, author and publisher Bryant Terry. We gathered to break bread and celebrate Terry’s award-winning book “Black Food” and the success of Booker T.’s ‘Service to Soul’ food justice program, followed by a dinner and panel conversation moderated by our very own Executive Director, Shakirah Simley and special guest speakers.
We joined Foodwise, MegaBlack and The Port of San Francisco for the 2nd annual Juneteenth on the Waterfront on June 11th at the Embarcadero Ferry Terminal Plaza. Local Black-owned businesses and community partners were in attendance for a day of fun, community, and delicious, handcrafted food!
On Saturday, Juneteenth we participated in the historic Fillmore Juneteenth Celebration where our community wellness ambassadors shared arts and crafts activities and fun for the whole family!
As we go into a new month, we stay committed to sharing knowledge about our collective history and Black liberation, because what we choose to remember, as a society and a nation, shapes the way we engage with our communities in the future.