On June 17, 2021, President Biden signed the bill that made Juneteenth a federal holiday; Black users all over Twitter are afraid that corporations will commercialize the day that celebrates the emancipation of more than 250,000 enslaved African Americans in Texas.
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) June 18, 2021
This commercialization, which involves sales or promotions, would detract from Juneteenth’s significance of “black freedom and pride”. Juneteenth was born on June 19, 1865, when Union troops enforced Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in Texas–almost two and a half years after its release on January 1, 1863.
It took 2 years. 2 years. 2 YEARS before people in Texas knew they were free from enslavement.
We are not free until all of us are free
All lives can't matter until Black lives matter. #juneteenth2021
— Jesus Fucking Christ 🌈 (@SHEsus__Christ) June 18, 2021
Although Juneteenth was mainly celebrated by Black Texans from its birth in 1865 to its revivals in the 1980s (when it became a Texas state holiday) and 1990s, the racial-justice protests and Black Lives Matter movement of summer 2020 have populated it among White Americans for the first time.
Many are still unaware of Juneteenth and its significance, however. This and the capitalist nature of corporate America have contributed to fears that Juneteenth will be commercialized.
Tomorrow is #JuneTeenth2021.
It is a day about black freedom & pride. Though it’s now a federal holiday, it is NOT just about barbecuing & getting off work.
It’s a celebration & a reminder that we SURVIVED. ✊🏾
Support black creators.
Uplift black creators.
Pay black creators. pic.twitter.com/uFyubWhr4b
— ΩMEGA JONES. (@CriticalBard) June 18, 2021
Although federal employees and some private workers have the day off, most Americans don’t. Many are still celebrating, but warn against diminishing the day to “just barbecuing and getting off work”. People suggest supporting black-owned businesses instead of buying Juneteenth merchandise.
If you’re a white/non Black business owner catering to a similar clientele, dont offer Juneteenth merch/discounts. Why would y’all think profiting off our suffering is ok?
Instead take 100% of sales & give it to Black ppl/led orgs & don’t collect a tax write off when you pass go
— Dr. Earyn McGee, Lizard lassoer 🦎 (@Afro_Herper) June 16, 2021
Do not 🚫
I repeat, DO NOT buy Juneteenth shirts, cups, banners, socks, jewelry, etc from ANY white people or white-owned business!
There are PLENTY of Black-owned businesses you can support!
Here’s a mini-list from my Twitter friends. Feel free to add more!👇🏾👇🏾
— Angeline Dukes (@FutureDrDukes) June 18, 2021
One user claimed that “sales for Juneteenth” were “flagrant AF”, even for a black-owned business.
— Jessika 💚🖤❤ (@jessinhtx) June 17, 2021
Another user noted one problem with making Juneteenth a federal holiday: doing so “shifted [it] from an intracommunity observance to something widely benefitting non-Black people”.
As Daily Dot aptly pointed out, celebrating Juneteenth as a federal holiday will be performative for most people.
This is fine! Everything is fine! No need to worry!
They painted #BlackLivesMatter in every boro, so that should be effecting things sometime soon, right?
Didn’t anyone tell this guy that #JuneTeenth2021 is a holiday now?
— Zeek Arkham (@ZeekArkham) June 18, 2021