Juneteenth has now officially been named a federal holiday. This is a great move forward in our country’s history, and we are very proud to be talking about it. But what is Juneteenth? What does it mean, and how is it relevant to marketing and business owners? Today, we will answer all those questions and discuss how we finally arrived at this historic moment.
Before we dive into the path of recognition that led to this day being recognized as a federal holiday by President Biden, let’s first talk about what Juneteenth represents.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth, which was colloquially named for its date June 19th, 1865, was celebrated in Texas. This represents the day that slavery was finally stamped out, and all African Americans became citizens of the United States following the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation. Several states have been celebrating Juneteenth for many years. Now the holiday has been federally recognized, we wanted to take this opportunity to look at the connection between black history and the world of business.
The History of Businesses and People of Color.
The long history of owning businesses and entrepreneurs of color has been a long and tumultuous road. It is still not a perfect world professionally. The most profound example of this is the “Black Wall Street massacre” on May 31- June 1, 1921, where several blocks of the wealthiest black-owned businesses in Tulsa, OK, were burned and destroyed by mobs of white protestors. This horrifying event was intended to trample on the progress and hopes of people of color who had managed to move past the obstacles that had prevented their families and their communities from prospering. You can learn more about this event here.
Sadly, this sort of violence and discrimination against colored business owners was not an isolated incident. As long as they have tried to reach for their dreams and achieve what others couldn’t, people have always tried to stand in their way.
The history of Juneteenth is a proven path of perseverance and hope that proves no amount of animosity or close-mindedness was ever going to be enough to stop people of color from rising up and helping shape the entrepreneurial world into what it is today.
Here’s a fun fact we’ll bet you didn’t know: blood banks, which are now used worldwide to save lives, were started by a black physician named Dr. Charles Richard Drew in 1940.
The Entrepreneurial World Today.
Several first-generation multi-million dollar companies have been started by people of color, such as Sterling Security LLC, Reynolds News, Devon Industrial Group, and many more. The world of business is growing all the time, and the newer generations of business owners are shouting their joy and pride for the accomplishments relating to Juneteenth more than ever before. People want to come together and share in each other’s victories, especially if that victory helps more than just them. Entrepreneurs of all backgrounds have started and maintained their own businesses of all sizes and industries. Their love and dedication to their work have made the professional and business world a melting pot of passion and great ideas. One example is a retail entrepreneur named Roslyn Karamoko, who founded Détroit is the New Black, whose mission is to use clothing and rotating art to inspire conversation about Detroit, MI, and the city's socioeconomic and racial issues faced.
We cannot wait to see what the future holds for the business world. More and more people of all races and cultures come together to breathe life into their ideas and make their dreams a reality for everyone to enjoy.
100 years ago, it would have been impossible for a person of color to own and operate a business. Now we have many companies worth millions of dollars founded by people of all racial backgrounds. So we’ve come a long way, and the world is just going to keep charging ahead, and we’re very proud to be a part of it.
We hope you all take the time to appreciate this holiday, even if it doesn’t affect you directly, but take the time to be happy for those it does. After all, we all live here together, and we should always celebrate the victories of our country and neighbors, big or small.