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  • Nora Hacker

Juneteenth!

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

Greeting Rock City Family!

We pray this message finds you and your loved ones happy and healthy. We were scheduled to meet this Saturday, June 19th. However, June 19th is an important holiday and as a faith community, we are cancelling regularly scheduled service to encourage you to educate yourself about and celebrate Juneteenth.

What is it?

On June 19, 1865, about two months after the Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Va., Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African-Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. General Granger’s announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two and a half years earlier on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln.

The holiday received its name by combining June and 19. The day is also sometimes called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.” -Source: New York Times, 2021

How do I learn more?

Here are some articles to begin to learn more about Juneteenth. We also encourage you to do your own research! So You Want to Learn More About Juneteenth--https://www.nytimes.com/.../juneteenth-day-celebration.html The Meaning of Juneteenth--https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/20/06/meaning-juneteenth

How do I celebrate?

Sky’s the limit! Folks celebrate Juneteenth in a number of ways and a variety of settings from cookouts, to staff discussions, to social media posts, to watching interviews or documentaries about the holiday. Check out www.juneteenth.com/how-to-celebrate/ for some great ideas.

Here’s some local ways to celebrate: Support Black-owned Business 2nd annual Juneteenth Celebration @ Wright Park 12:00p – 5:00p, all are welcome. Patricia Colemon and Annie Jones-Barnes will be receiving community awards.

Stocklist is holding a pop-up featuring Black-owned business Brown Betty on Saturday from 1-5pm. Owner Kellie Richardson, will be selling original art, stationary gifts, her poetry and signature skin care products.

Adorned Adobe features fine gifts curated by owner Benita Smith. They have Juneteenth and Father’s Day specials sure to please! Gifts can be bought in person by appointment at Freighthouse Square or ordered online.

Check out Tacoma Urban League’s Black Business Directory to learn about more Black businesses from realtors to consultants to artists and attorneys!

Support Black Liberation: consider donating to these non-profits dedicated to the liberation of Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples:

We Are Legally BLACK.: dedicated to unifying modern-day civil rights activists & grassroots organizations seeking to eradicate racism and strengthen our communities.

The People's Assembly: Building a cross-cultural and intersectional movement grounded in anti-racism and directed at advancing Black liberation and social justice for all.

Tacoma Action Collective: Working to eliminate systemic oppression and structural violence while empowering the people to build autonomous communities rooted in equity and justice.

Explore creative pieces about Juneteenth: here’s a few poems exploring Juneteenth and Black American experience:

Juneteenth, by Noah Griffin -- https://constitutingamerica.org/june-19-1865-juneteenth.../ The Illusion of Freedom – A Poem for Juneteenth --https://youtu.be/01dFUjOZtSQ We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar (as read by Jonathan L. Walton) -- https://youtu.be/umK4Mebl6WI

Again, this is just a few primers to get you started; there really is SO much to learn so please be empowered to explore. Better yet, please share your learnings and insights on Rock City’s Facebook page!

Sending deep and abiding blessings to you and yours this month. We look forward to seeing you July 17th at 5:30pm for our next service.



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