Juneteenth: An American Holiday for Celebration and Reflection

Categorized: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Press Release

How The Clubhouse Network is Marking Juneteenth

Juneteenth commemorates the day when the last enslaved black people of Texas learned that they had been freed, just over 150 years ago on June 19, two years following the Emancipation Proclamation.

Many Black Americans, particularly those in Texas, have long celebrated this holiday much like many people mark July 4th, America’s Independence Day, with time away from work and celebrations with friends and family. Lynn Murray, Associate Director, Inclusion and Engagement at The Clubhouse Network grew up in Texas where she says Juneteenth was simply everywhere. She says, “It was a known entity. You had a plan for celebrating. If you looked across parks in my town, you saw crowds of Black people having cookouts and just being with their families. People greeted each other with ‘Happy Juneteenth.’ It was a day to celebrate freedom.”

It was a day to celebrate freedom

It was not until Lynn moved to Boston that she realized it was not celebrated as prominently everywhere. Many Americans, particularly white Americans, are just learning about this holiday today. It has taken over 150 years to enter the consciousness of so many Americans. It was not until this year that the U.S. Senate approved a bill to make Juneteenth national holiday.

As we have said before, Black history is American history. And it is our responsibility to expand and correct our existing understandings of history, for ourselves and for our youth. If we as Americans are committed to a better future, we must first, as a country, confront our past. That begins with honest discussions about our history.

Last year, for the first time, The Clubhouse Network offices closed on Juneteenth and will do so again this year, observing the day on Friday, June 18th. The Flagship Clubhouse in Roxbury will also close on Saturday, June 19, celebrating and marking the holiday with youth on Friday, June 18.

Watch this video to learn why “Juneteenth isn’t just an obscure black holiday. It should be an American celebration.”