Juneteenth Celebration




Towards Awareness is a reading (and discussion) group focused on socially conscious learning. Each month, participants select a text or topic that highlights the wealth of diversity within the English language and/or among its speakers. Our gatherings are a safe space where teachers and students challenge potential biases, learn about each other’s culture, and reflect on our potential to enact change. Since June 2020, our reading list has ranged from contemporary authors like Brit Bennett and Meredith Talusan to classic short stories like W.E.B. DuBois’ On Being Crazy and a fair share of interviews, articles, and poems (that you can check out here).

This month, we celebrate our one year anniversary with a unit on the meaning of Juneteenth, a U.S.-based celebration on emancipation. As the above video explains, a group of enslaved peoples in Galveston, Texas, received news of the abolition of slavery on June 19, 1865 (two years after the Emancipation proclamation). In order to understand this delay, what the holiday means today, and different interpretations of Juneteenth, we will read Why’d it take so long for some of us to find out about Juneteenth? by Kyla Wright.

Discussion Questions

  • What is the historical significance of Juneteenth?
  • How come Juneteenth is not as widely known as other holidays?
  • In which ways can we answer Kayla Wright’s call to action – now that we know, what do we do?

After watching the video, reading the article, and jot down new vocabulary, join us for an online discussion. We will meet on Thursday, June 17 at 12:00 PM EST. The meeting is free and all are welcome.


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