Today, Juneteenth has taken a much deeper much more important role in 2020! As I'm writing this blog post, I'm deep in thought about how Juneteenth has evolved in our country and for me personally. Juneteenth has always been a complicated holiday to celebrate. It is simultaneously a day of liberation and a day of mourning.
Juneteenth is Friday, June 19, a holiday that is arguably as important to our nation as the Fourth of July. Since it commemorates the day in 1865 when enslaved people of Texas (then the most remote region of the Confederacy) finally learned slavery had been abolished and that they were free. Even though slavery has ended in its original form, our community is still witnessing in 2020 injustice, prejudice, inequality, lynchings and as a continuation of the racism that enslavement has entwined throughout our entire society.
Growing up in Los Angeles, My parents were very involved in the Black movement but I didn't really learn and absorb Black history until I went away to college at UC Berkeley and enrolled into an African American Studies classes with the infamous Dr. Harry Edwards. He rocked my world on African American Studies and I remember calling my mom crying asking her why she didn't teach about our Black history?
But the recent demonstrations against police killings of Black Americans and growing recognition of systemic racism in our nation's businesses and institutions has brought Juneteenth to the forefront of public awareness. I feel it's important for our continued growth, discovery, and journey to dive deep into how we can involve at this time in our country's much-needed upheaval!
It's been the perfect storm with people at home because of the pandemic, out of work, out of school, no sports on tv, locked inside for three months and social media capturing in real time the injustices and brutality of people of color on our American streets. It's REAL!
Juneteenth has become a mashup of "June 19", it's become a day of celebration for Black people in Texas. A tradition that slowly spread as they migrated to other states such as Louisiana and California. Texas declared Juneteenth a legal state holiday in 1980, the first state to do so, but national awareness has been spotty, even among Black people.
June 19th, is also known as Juneteenth, is a national commemoration of the end of slavery in the US. Juneteenth is about people of all races, nationalities and religions coming together to acknowledge a time in our history that continues to influence our society today. Families around the country celebrate with barbecues and picnics, so here's a collection of soul food recipes that will surely please everyone!
In honor of Juneteenth, I'm highlighting some of my personal favorite Soul Food Recipes. It's also a time to teach my kids about our family traditions of not only food but social justice and survival. Remembering where we came from and the sacrifice of our ancestors endured and where we are going and for me it starts at home, in the kitchen.
My new favorite cookbook is Jubilee by Toni Tipton-Martin . My sister Michelle gave me this cookbook for Mother's day and I haven't put it down since. Toni and my sister Michelle were best friends and we all grew up on the same street in Windsor Hills, California. Toni is an award- winning food journalist and I couldn't be prouder of all her accomplishments and hopefully, soon she will grace me with her presence cooking with me on Ali in the Valley! This book has warmed my Soul!
Stay focused and diligent as we move through our unwavering stance on equal justice for ALL! Sending you ALL light and love! 🤗