June 19, also known as Juneteenth, is a holiday black people should all be aware of, and it dates to June 19, 1865. On that day, Union soldiers, led by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, went into Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over and Texas’ 250,000 slaves were now officially free.
The history books have glorified Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation for freeing slaves, but if we’re being real, it only applied to slaves who lived near Union lines, where they could flee their plantation or take advantage of opportunities in the North. Around half-a-million black people managed to do this. Those black people freed themselves.
The Juneteenth holiday doesn’t get nearly the amount of celebration and praise it deserves. I have no idea why. I like being free, or as free as I can be as a black woman in America. Maybe it’s because every holiday attached to black culture is almost an afterthought. Not anymore! Here are 14 new black holidays that deserve your pomp and circumstance:
On this day, you dress as the royalty you are, and you are only regarded as such. Make sure your excellence is on full display.
This is a day that all black girls of all ages know their worth. However, just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real. The world will make room for black girls everywhere to sprinkle their magic all over the world.
This day is similar to Black Girl Magic Day, except it focuses on young black men. This day gives men a chance to be carefree and young, but mostly ... free. Black men of all ages are free to spread their joy all over the world without fear of being threatening or perceived as superhuman.
This day is obvious. It is to be celebrated on Sept. 4 each year all over the world. We will spend the day buzzing about our queen, playing only her music and flooding haters’ feeds with bees.
On this day, you will rise early enough to break out your toothbrush and edge control to allow your edges to flourish in ways you never thought possible. Edges with the most intricate designs are requested for this day. And when you see one of your fellow edges-laid celebrators, you acknowledge them with a “Yassss!”
Short of being our unofficial black national anthem, Juvenile’s “Back Dat Ass Up” deserves to be celebrated. There is no other song that brings women to the dance floor with as much as urgency as this one. On this day, we will honor the song by playing it at all sporting events as a replacement to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
This holiday is for all the kids out there whose mothers won’t let them go to McDonald’s because, “You got McDonald’s money?” McDonald’s will sponsor a free meal for every kid in every hood around the world whose mother ever uttered those words to them, crushing their souls.
This is the day on which anyone with a heart can participate. At every sporting event at which the national anthem plays, you will be asked to kneel in support of Black Lives Matter and in protest of the slaughtering of black bodies at the hands of police. On this day, we will honor all victims and say their names.
This is a day we’ve all been waiting for. For one day only, Barack Obama is our president again, and we can forget that orange thing ever happened. It’s only for a day, but still ... worth it!
Uhm, duh! This woman is, and forever will be, our queen, our leader, someone we love almost as much as, if not more than, Beyoncé. Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is one of the great marvels of the world, and every year on Jan. 17, we will all strive to be even a little bit like her. You’ll rock your best blowout; a sensible yet stylish heel; a gorgeous dress or gown, depending on how fancy you are; and a smile that won’t quit.
This is a day free of cultural appropriation all over the world. Rachel Dolezal, just stay home. Kim Kardashian, take those braids out. This is the day you’re just not allowed to do what I know your privilege has allowed you to do for so long. It’s just one day; you’ll live.
This is a day to remember all of those we lost in the struggle that is now known as the sunken place. We’ll take a moment of silence to remember those like Stacey Dash, Kanye West, Jason Williams, Bill Cosby, Omarosa and more.
This day of glory lifts up all things melanin! It’s an appreciation, but it’s also a day of representation. On this day, entertainment actually reflects what’s going on in the world. Imagine all the little brown boys and girls whose perceptions of themselves change because they can see themselves!
This is a day that we let the world stop suckling off our teets! We’re cutting off the culture tap! Black Twitter will go silent, leaving news outlets to fend for themselves when it comes to urgent, hilarious and brilliant commentary that often shapes their stories.
What other black holidays do you think we should celebrate? Sound off in the comments below!