What is Juneteenth?

Interestingly, celebrating Juneteenth is a timely culmination of recent events. We are experiencing the results of centuries of unresolved racial injustice as part of our reality today. I admit, I had not heard of this day in history until recently. So I did my social media and google research and in summary found…

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.

Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. [From Juneteenth.com]

I love this part…

“It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning for the future”.


During this time of social unrest and a pandemic, I invite you to sit with your discomfort, grief, shock, or whatever opinions and emotions this whole Juneteenth and Black Lives Matter revolution brings up for you.

As part of my coaching and facilitation, you’ve likely heard me use the analogy of a stoplight: green light, yellow light, and red light.

  • Green is comfort with the status quo
  • Yellow is uncomfortable, stretches you beyond your comfort zone
  • Red is uncomfortable to the point of fear and paralysis

We don’t want to be in the red zone. Green is easy and complacent, whereas yellow challenges you to stretch and is where there is the most potential for personal growth. I invite you to step in the yellow zone during a time such as this. 

What does stretching outside your comfort zone look like? For some, it may be having a deep conversation with a Black friend or realizing you don’t have any Black friends; it may be marching in solidarity or a peaceful protest; it may be taking to social media or reading a book to educate yourself; it may be prayer and reflection or it may be attending a solidarity gathering; it may be admitting what you don’t know or speaking up for what you believe. There is no wrong answer. Whatever it is, be authentic. Be true to yourself. Just be you, but STRETCH! Here’s to celebrating freedom and emancipation from slavery. Happy Juneteenth! #riseup


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