Happy Juneteenth! On this day in 1865, a union general announced the end of chattel slavery to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas. The message arrived two years after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.
When I was a kid, textbook authors simplified the situation — they wrote that the proclamation freed enslaved people. Undoubtedly, the Emancipation Proclamation is a symbol of freedom. It is a token, emblematic of the beginnings of the abolitionist movement, a movement made up of individuals who broke milestones fighting for equality. Lincoln’s proclamation was not a call for freedom. It was a response to the demands of thousands of people working together to dismantle the system.
Each year, Juneteenth commemorates a milestone to freedom for Black Americans. The fight for freedom did not end in 1863, nor 1865. Today, Black Americans and allies continue to work toward liberation. In the eternal wake of Black death, my Juneteenth 2020 embraces Black joy, community and resilience.
As Black people celebrate this weekend, support Black businesses and buy these products from a Bay Area business.
Stop by Cupcakin’ Bake Shop
Indulge yourself with a delicious red velvet cupcake from Cupcakin’ on Telegraph Avenue or in Oakland. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the s’mores or gluten-free summer berry flavors. The alternating flavor menu is full of options that will have you wishing you bought more.
Head to Shattuck Market
Grab a banana, some cereal or a container of hot cocoa from Shattuck Market in Downtown Berkeley. This market is a great place to stop by for everything you’ll need to stock up your kitchen between grocery store trips.
Enjoy a meal at Everett and Jones BBQ
Get your fingers dirty with smoked barbecue ribs at Everett and Jones BBQ in Oakland. Not into pork? The restaurant also serves hot links and barbecue chicken. Order a side of potato salad, mac and cheese or baked beans for the full experience.
Experience fine cuisine at Addis Ethiopian Restaurant
Experiment with spices and other flavors at Addis Ethiopian Restaurant in Oakland. Its kitfo dishes are popular on Yelp! Take some home for the entire house to enjoy — the servings are large and prepared to feed many.
Treat yourself to fried chicken from Touch of Soul
Spoil yourself with Southern fried chicken from Touch of Soul in Emeryville. The small soul food spot is also known for its collard greens, mac and cheese and yams. It’s still open during shelter-in-place orders, so satisfy your soul with one of its classic Southern comfort dishes.
Support Pinky and Red’s
Not in the Bay Area this summer? Donate to help Pinky and Red’s stay in business!
Supporting Black businesses helps Black communities. Your support does not need to end there. There are thousands of people working for equality right now. Some have died fighting for their cause. Say their names: Oluwatoyin Salau, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Natasha McKenna, Michelle Cusseaux, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and countless others.
Listen to Black people, educate yourself and demand change.
Contact Sera Smith at [email protected]