Under a Senate rule vote back in 2021, the 19th of June is now celebrated as “Juneteenth,” officially becoming a federal holiday in the United States. But just what is this “Black Independence Day” really about? According to Wikipedia, June 19 commemorates a holiday celebrating the “emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States” back in 1865.
President Abraham Lincoln actually freed all slaves when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 – two years prior to Union soldiers arriving in Galveston, Texas to announce to the slaves at this end that they had indeed, been free. For obvious reasons, the news was spread through patrons’ travels and word of mouth – had social media been around at the time, slaves in Texas would have received the information in no time.
With the rise of Black Lives Matter having been the chaotic frenzy it was in 2020, many Americans claimed that in an effort to further demonize and “erase” founding fathers and impactful presidents from historical beginnings, Juneteenth was an enforcement to “re-write history,” and discredit the powerful impact Lincoln made in America. The holiday further amplified Black Lives Matter to gain millions more in financial gains.
Juneteenth is now in its second year of commemoration, but major brands had issued apologies last year for “woke marketing” efforts, allegedly targeting a specific demographic for profitable reasons and nothing else.
According to a confessions article from Digiday, writer Kristina Monllos writes, “I can’t speak for the entire Black community because we are certainly not a monolith, but I never asked for it. At all. I didn’t need Walmart to make party supplies for Juneteenth. I’ve been celebrating Juneteenth for decades. I’ve never been sad that corporate America wasn’t recognizing us. It felt like it was for us and for our community. Even the federal government recognizing June 19th as Juneteenth also feels like a farce. There’s no one day.”
Monllos added, “Everything culturally is politicized and polarizing. Brands are incredibly risk averse. Of course, when I say brands, I mean the ones that didn’t have [inclusivity] as part of their core values and marketing from the jump.”
The same thing has been said about “Pride Month,” when large corporations jump on the LGBTQ+ bandwagon, tailoring their products to serve this community purely for profit. It is fair to assume that Juneteenth will be no different.